Updated: Jul 16, 2021
3 Thoughts on Combatting an Ordinary Life
Sometimes adventure shows up with an invite. When it does, it’s best to treat it like a long-lost friend and say “yes.”
Recently, on a beach getaway my son and I were talking late into the night. We talked about nothing and everything. Ultimately, we landed on a conversation about the amazing ghost crabs on the beach he saw the previous night. Without hesitation, I asked him to show me.
With the wind whipping in crazy fashion and a giant umbrella of stars overhead, we walked along the shore at night. Tiny cell phone lights guided our path as we carefully navigated hundreds of ghost crabs on the beach. If you haven’t seen these creatures before, ghost crabs are sandy gray in color and appear almost other-worldly. As they scurried along the nighttime shore, they flitted like tiny aliens into their solitary burrows. Watching them was both terrifying and thrilling.
The sad part was I almost missed it. Feeling lucky that my son shared the adventure with me, I realized staying up late and nocturnal excursions were not my usual choice. Normally I would have been in bed and fast asleep. But adventure invited me into the dark velvet of the night and I said “yes.” Walking along that seashore awakened every cell and gave me a captivating memory with my son I will never forget.
Adventures do that to you. They shake you up and change every part of you. They are the espresso shot to the soul. It made me wonder how many other life-inspiring experiences I had missed because I didn’t want to be bothered, was too lazy, went to bed early, numbed out on mindless TV, or chose social media instead. No one ever became remarkable from social media. That night on the beach left me changed, and I longed for more of it in my life.
My friend has a funny expression she shares about risk. She says, “live a life that is worth putting your mom through labor for.” Her words echo the same sentiment from John 10:10 that says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”(ESV) Christ didn’t come to walk this earth, give up His throne, and be crucified for my sins just so I could live small. He came to give us a vibrant life to the fill.
How could I live out John 10:10 in my own life? Or at least get better at it?
After the ghost crab adventure, I longed for more life-giving experiences. A beach trip was just one week – how could I live a more vibrant daily experience? Here are three ideas I am personally getting after to make a less ordinary life.
Step One – Wake Up.
I began by asking myself, “where do I need to wake up?” It’s easy to put life on cruise control. My daily routines silently lull me into a state of complacency. If I’m honest, it’s easier to choose the lazy way of creating an interesting life through reading or watching other people have interesting lives. Truly, my social media feed or binge-watching sessions don’t make me a better person. I began looking at my everyday life to see what was already there.
Step Two – Do Things Differently.
Adventures take effort. It is going to cost me something – time, energy, effort, and probably some money. But perhaps money spent on adventures is a better investment than getting another app subscription, gourmet coffee, or takeout meal mindlessly eaten in front of the TV, hoping to feel interesting again.
I believe the difference between thinking about adventures and living adventures is my brain. If I can see myself as the kind of person that lives adventures, everything is an adventure. Also, an adventure doesn’t necessarily mean climbing a mountain, competing in a triathlon, or scuba diving the Great Barrier reef. Having adventures may mean a brave conversation with a family member about what is troubling you. Adventures may mean setting aside what is an easy choice of what you always do and trying something different instead. Adventure may be as simple as driving a different route home, being the first one to call a neighbor, or introducing yourself to someone you have never met before.
Step Three - Act Like Someone Who Has Adventures.
Lately, I’ve been looking at my daily habits and considering if they are what a person who has adventures does. They probably don’t watch mindless TV or eat unhealthy takeout food. People who have adventures watch documentaries about where they are going to travel next, they read interesting books for ideas about adventures and they take great care of their health because any moment they may be asked to go adventuring. I want to be ready when adventure comes inviting.
Adventures Are A Daily Habit and a Daily Choice.
Every day I have a choice to live better. I want to live a life that was worth putting my mom through labor for. I want to live a life that was worthy of the manner in which I have been called by Christ. I may not scale Mount Kilimanjaro or traverse the Great Wall of China, but I can look for beauty and wonder in front of me. I can strike up a conversation with a stranger and order something crazy from the menu. Ultimately, having adventures is about saying yes to what life has already given you and a willingness to live it out.