One of the obvious themes in both the writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien is the idea of adventure. My sense in reading their works is that they are trying to recapture something that has been lost. It’s almost to say that in our adult-like seriousness, we have forgotten a child-like sense of adventure. It’s not just a religious theme but we see this theme arising in other great literary works as well. God often worked in the OT by sending His people on a journey into the unknown… an adventure!
I often think of the Shire: a very safe place that seems to be isolated from the danger lurking around it. Yet it’s in this pristine environment that Frodo is “called” out to sojourn, to jump into an adventure (the same could be said of Bilbo as well). Galdalf says in The Hobbit, “I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.” The response was, “I should think so – in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” In the safety of the Shire, heaven forbid that one is made to be late for dinner.
I think this is what Lewis was getting at also in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Peter says, “Adventures are never fun while you are having them.” The point is that adventure throws everything off balance because it’s leaving behind the familiar and comfortable. Let me ask, when is the last time you had an adventure? When was your comfort left behind for the sake of the unknown, the spontaneously messy yet exhilarating unfamiliar? I”m not talking about the kind of adventure that is mapped out completely, like planning a vacation where every day is hyper-planned leaving no time for exploration, mystery, spontaneity. When was the unfamiliar was both frightening and exhilarating?
Two things have struck me during the past six months. First, it’s been clear that our family has been on the forefront of a new adventure. Of course, what we will explore and find remain in large measure still “out there”. It hasn’t been safe, but in the adventure (and believe me, it’s been a ride every day), there is something new and fresh that we have rediscovered about God. His mercies truly are new every morning and He has been gracious to sustain us so far and remain near to us. The second thing that hit me is the adventure is even more life-giving when you have people to share it with, in our case, family. It has been this gracious reminder that as we travel together and along the way we will make memories that will last our lifetime!
Sometimes we get to choose our adventures. Sometimes they find us… We will miss you Southern California friends tremendously and look forward to hearing about your adventures with the Lord! And to our new Valparaiso family, we look forward to the years of sojourning with all of you as we seek to live the gospel out together!