Posted by: karanoel | January 21, 2011

True adventure

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

It is Friday night and I am home alone. For some this might be a real bummer, but I feel indulged and giddy. Like a kid home on a school day. Not a sick day where you feel crappy and have to make up work, but a snow day where you are totally and completely off the hook. Yep, tonight it’s just me and my wide open space.

Before I pull out my book and pretend that I’m actually going to go to bed early, I wanted to share a thought or two. Everywhere I turn, I am hearing or reading about Abraham. He keeps turning up in devotionals, sermons, and every bible passage I come upon (and I’m a seriously random bible reader). It is no surprise that he is churning around in my head.

One of the things that really stood out to me was a passage in Hebrews 11: “By faith Abraham obeyed when we was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” It was really the second part of that verse that grabbed my eyes and made them sit there a while, trying to take it in.

As I have been trying to navigate life lately, I’ve realized how much I want to know what is ahead. That way, I figure, I will be able to invest my heart in the things that will matter in the end and spare myself some trouble and hurt along the way. But that’s operating in a serious deficit of faith and trust. It is not believing that God is at work in the middle of the story, when there are unknowns and tension, when we are being challenged and our character is being formed. You know, all the parts that make the end of the story worth sticking around for.

I’m brought back to this thought of how much we like controlled adventure. Roller coasters with tracks that lead riders to the same place every time. Travel that can be charted out with plane flights, tour guides, and maps. But adventure seems to me a lot more like life with God than a zipline through the rain forest. It is about moving forward in faith through the story written by the Creator, never knowing exactly what lies ahead – simply choosing to obey and putting another foot forward. Even when the story plays out differently than we thought it would. Even when we are hurt and weary and confused and discouraged. Even when we screw it up and fall hard. Because God is a brilliant author, who can weave together each element to create something of beauty… if we will continue onto the next page.

Abraham obeyed. He didn’t know where he was going, but he went out anyway. So much of what was formed in this man, this father of faith, happened along the way. Was it safe and cozy? Hell no. Was it a beautiful adventure story written into eternity by the hand of God? Heck yeah.  He just may have been onto something.


Responses

  1. I was struck resently by Gen. 22:2-3 when God asked Abraham to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice the very next verse says he rose up the next day and went. I loved his heart of trust and obedience. I think he knew that God would provide a lamb for the sacrifice that is how much he trusted in God to keep His promises. There was no “Wait! What! are you kidding me! or I couldn’t have heard right” he simply obeyed. hmmmmm! something to think about!

    • Oh my, yes. When we trust, obedience follows… immediately. Such an amazing picture of this Abraham was. And it seems that Isaac trusted his father as well, even perhaps as he held a knife up to his chest. I keep thinking about how our circumstances and emotions will mean less and less as we trust God more and more.

  2. Yes and Amen. We live because we don’t know the whole story. We have to find out what happens next… even if it is hard or scary or beautiful and life-changing. The story continues in faith.

    • Absolutely! Can you imagine if we set down our books partway through, frustrated and discouraged that hard or scary things happened, without realizing that there was more story to be unfolded? Yet how often do we do that very thing our lives… like today is the end of the story? As if!

  3. … and all my flesh cries out “No! I need to know where we are going. I need a plan. I need to plan.” It’s like Aslan in Narnia… Is he safe? No. But he is good.
    Enjoyed your post. Thanks!

    • Ah, one of my favorite quotes. Lewis nailed it. My flesh is right there with yours. Screaming its bloody guts out. And God just sits quietly by asking if I trust Him, and leading me on.


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