Wednesday, we started into the discussion of Adventure. We started with this incredible clip from “A river runs through it” (one of the great movies of this era) …
Here is man who has found what makes him come alive and pursues it with reckless abandon. Risk, daring, etc. mean nothing to him. He knows that in order to achieve his dream, he’s going to have to embrace risk. And then his brother describes him in this moment …
“My brother stood before us, not on the banks of the Big Black Foot river but suspended above the earth, free from all its laws like a work of art.”
Oh to be free from all its laws and to stand as a work of art. Powerful.
And then we went through some of the comments from the chapter on Adventure (see below) and showed clips from the movie, “October Sky”. Again, a classic movie. If you haven’t seen it in full, check it out on Netflix or you can buy the DVD on Amazon for $5. This movie is the story of a young man who found his dream, found what made him come alive and he pursued it. He was destined for life working and dying in a coal mine like his father and grandfather before him. Instead, he was captivated by a dream and as you see the story transpire, you see how his dream inspired others around him and eventually, his whole town. It’s a true story and it’d do your soul good to see it.
Adventure. I’ve been there. You go to Chimney Rock on Lake Martin or other cliff type jumps and you get this experience. From the water, it doesn’t look that bad. So you go to try it. You climb and climb and when you get to the jumping point, you look down and think “no freaking way”. But you eventually jump and it is exhilarating and like John said, you go back and do it again. Why is that?
“I want to live my whole life like that. I want to love with much more abandon and stop waiting for others to love me first. I want to hurl myself into a creative work worthy of God.”
Life is not a problem to be solved. It is an adventure to be lived.
God set the dangerous stage for this high-stakes drama and called the whole wild enterprise “good”.
Think about it – mountains you can conquer, the Grand Canyon you can explore, the waterfalls you can discover, the oceans you can surf – New Zealand, Ireland, Napa, Costa Rica, snorkeling in the Virgin Islands, hunting elk in the mountains of Colorado – all these vistas He created and then the rattlesnakes, panthers, bears, sharks, etc. All the “risk” that is there – why did God create ALL this?
He rigged the world in such a way that it only works when we embrace risk as the theme of our lives, which is to say, only when we live by faith. A man just won’t be happy until he’s got adventure in his work, in his love and in his spiritual life.
Manschool is risky. Think about it. It’d just be a heck of a lot easier to pass on trying to pull this off. To pass on inviting men into a deeper walk. It’d be a lot easier to just give up on the quest. Manschool is an adventure. The vision for a tribe, wide-awake, passionate about their love of God and radical in their pursuit of Him … that is a vision written upon the hearts of many men in this room.
Marriage is risky. Authentic husbanding is terribly risky. Pursuing your wife, never, never, never giving up … that is risky.
What is it that makes you come alive?
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Too many of us are not actors in the drama of our lives … we are reactors. “We go where the world takes us, to drift with whatever current happens to be running the strongest.”
Most men spend the energy of their lives trying to eliminate risk, or squeezing it down to a more manageable size. Their children hear “no” far more than they hear “yes”; their employees feel chained up and their wives are equally bound. If it works, if a man succeeds in securing his life against all risk, he’ll wind up in a cocoon of self-protection and wonder all the while why he is suffocating.
The price of your vitality is the sum of all your fears. In other words, you have decided to trade vitality for safety. The things you fear will kill off all desire because a key part of desire is risk. All the things you have desired – the girl you wanted to ask to prom, the girl you wanted to ask to marry, the first house you bought together, the business you dreamed of launching, the children you dreamed of having … every single one of these desires carried risk. If you wall off risk in your life – if you value safety, predictability and comfort above all else – you will find yourself in a cocoon. Too many of us escaped from our cocoon and emerged as a soaring butterfly and now as we’ve aged, we’ve tucked our wings, folded them up and are trying to go back to the safe.
We’ve forgotten how to dream. We no longer imagine. We medicate our pain rather than go to the pain. Risk. Adventure. Dare. Those are “long-ago” words and we’ve bought the lie that we no longer have the capacity.
You HAVE the capacity. (more to come…)