Today is the last day of the Write 31 Days Challenge, and this is the last post for it. As I was planning this series, I wanted to end in a Tolkien-esque way. He features stars a lot in his books -- the elves were born under the stars, and they love them dearly. I spend a lot of time talking and writing about and staring at the sky, so I thought it would be fitting for me to close this series with yet another sky post, in the same vein as my earlier posts Sunrise and Sunset. So here I am, on my back balcony again, with a cup of chamomile tea and my giant water bottle, dressed in a pair of massive sweatpants and my favorite sweater as shield against the almost-November chill. I think it's appropriate that I'm listening to Howard Shore's score for the last installment of The Hobbit.
I can't see the stars yet -- the sun has only recently set. It's just 7:40 pm -- how is the sun already down? How is it already dark? And how long do I have to wait before the stars come out?
I marvel at the people who study the stars. The people who watch for them. There's so much waiting involved. Stargazers must also be very patient. Or maybe they aren't, and they have to learn it. Maybe they know something I don't always remember: sometimes, to see the beauty, to get the thing that you long for, you have to wait. You have to watch to see it. Maybe it's been there all along, but you have to have the eyes to see, ears to hear, and patience to wait for it to suddenly become visible.
I think the Kingdom of God is like that. Jesus constantly talks to His disciples about what the Kingdom is like. Mustard seed. Seeds in general. Nets. Children. You have to be patient when farming, when fishing, when watching things grow. The seed has always been the plant it will grow into. But you have to wait for the day that it appears before your eyes.
When I started this series, I had an idea of what it would be like. And in a lot of ways, it 100% fulfilled those expectations. Y'all, it has been HARD. It has been ridiculously hard. There were a few days this past week that I said to myself, "You know... I could just not finish this thing." One day I was trying to dash off some writing before my Vocal Pedagogy class. It wasn't coming super easily -- I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn't figure out how to put it into words. I turned to my friend George, who was sitting next to me, and I huffed. "I have nothing to say." He looked at me and replied, "Yet."
Many of my words have not been what I intended. In my planner, I jotted down some ideas or quick sentences next to the title for each day -- hints to jog my memory -- some of my favorite buzzwords, if you will. These guided me, but almost every day, I have said something a little different than I intended to say.
I meant to look for adventure in my everyday life. I meant to find it. What I learned is that it's already there. It may not look the way I expect it to. But it's there.
A lot of times it looks like me sitting at a desk, studying my music.
Sometimes it looks like being flexible and going to dinner with a new friend when I had planned to go home (this happened yesterday. It was delightful).
Most of the time, it looks like my everyday routine, because I'm desperately in love with the life I've been given to live.
I write this blog to remind you that God's not only created you for adventure -- He's given it to you. You're living it! Right now! But I also write to remind myself of the very same things. I write to remind myself that life isn't as mundane as it seems on the surface. Underneath, something incredible is happening.
It may be happening slowly. It may be like a watched pot -- it never boils. It may have all the slowness of watching grass grow, or waiting for Christmas, or trudging endlessly through a mountain range with thirteen dwarves and wishing to God you were anywhere but here.
But something incredible is happening to us. Within us. Around us.
A lot of it looks small, and maybe it is. But in the smallness, something is happening.
Other parts of it are grand and huge and so noisy that they drown out everything else around us. In the bigness, something is happening.
It may be invisible now. That's okay. What matters is that we know it's there.
And we do know it's there. We have been so promised.
Part of me is very sorry to say goodbye to this series. But this blog is called Adventure Joy, and we all know I'll never stop writing about it or talking about it.
I want to close with the following words -- words I hope I always remember and believe. Words I hope you remember, too.
We are created for adventure. We have been given it. We hold it in our hands even now. We are living it even as we do our laundry or write our papers or practice our music or drive all over. We have been given abundant life. It's terrifying. It's dangerous. There is no guarantee that we will come back -- and if we do, we will never be the same. It is beautiful. It is life-altering. After that, there is no way you could ever be the same -- and who would want to? Who wouldn't want to be changed by this?
Who wouldn't want to live this out every single solitary, waking moment?
I have been created for Adventure. I have been given Adventure. I am living it out. I am living in the person of Adventure.
So are you.
The stars aren't out yet -- maybe I can't see them, because I've been staring at my screen. But I know they're there.
Let's be stargazers. Let's be warriors. Let's be absolutely insane. Let's be prophets and travelers and storytellers and minstrels. Let's be singers and craftsmen and companions. Let's be royal. Let's follow the calling. Let's step onto the Road. Let us walk into the fear and feel it shake us to our bones -- and then act from a place of defiant courage we didn't know we had. Let's feel deeply and run hard and climb mountains and feel the wind in our faces. Let's stare at the sky until our necks hurt, and let's walk until our feet fall off, and let's never, ever lose sight of the gorgeousness we've been given. Let's be joyous.
Let's be adventurous.