Dear Summer Staff 2006,
Something that has always fascinated me are the lives of the early explorers. Down through the years I have bought and read numerous books that describe the life and adventures of explorers like Leif Ericsson, Samuel De Champlain, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Captain Cook, Columbus, Lewis & Clark, etc… Those guys fascinate me. I like to think about those fragile men facing nature’s worst and uncertain treatment at the hands of natives. I am also captivated by descriptions of the untouched lands they found, the adventures they had, the sacrifices they endured, and the way that they helped shape the world as we know it. As a boy, I used to fantasize and daydream about what it would have been like to accompany them on their adventures, and it wasn’t until relatively recently that I realized I was standing on the cusp of an adventure myself.
It sounds trite to say, but our walk with Christ is intended to be a fun and exciting adventure. IT REALLY IS! As I grew up, I didn’t think of my faith as an exciting thing. I had it too wrapped up in obligatory church attendance and what I perceived as boring patterns established by my parents. What seemed exciting to me was not pleasing to God, and so, in my heart of hearts, I fostered a secret resentment of God and the restraints that he put on me. He delivered me from that false understanding of things, and has given me an excitement that can only come from pulling anchor in the old world of who you were and what you were doing and setting sail for the new world of who God wants you to be and what he wants you to do.
There is nothing more exciting this side of eternity than the Lord’s will for our lives. It is like the fuzzy outlines of an undiscovered continent barely visible on the wave- tossed horizon. I tingle with excitement at the thought of my boots marring the surface of that virgin shore. I think of all the interesting people I will meet, the gifts I will discover, the adventures I will have, the untouched territory that I will claim for Christ, and I grow more and more excited.
Yet still, it is natural to be a little frightened by the prospect too. Just like with those early explorers there will be hardship and resistance. We are still fragile men and women facing the worst that man and nature can throw at us, but we find both confidence and joy when we find ourselves in that trench with Christ. In John 16:33 Christ says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
So be excited, and don’t ever let Sunday Morning become the sum total of your walk because that is really just admiring and celebrating explorers without becoming one yourself. So, remember now your creator in the days of your youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1) and get excited! Live with an eternal perspective. Pursue the adventure of the Lord’s will. Revel in it! I pray that God would give you an irresistible bursting desire to follow Him, an excitement about the same, and that he would open your eyes to the exciting places, people and times around you.
Your Brother in Christ, Josh Tate