Living the good life of adventure

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2002

The doughnut shop door closed behind as I walked out with my health food in hand. Suddenly my eyes were captured by a beauty. It was red, looked fast, and had the word "Tiger" written across the tank.

My heart pounded, then missed a four-cycle beat.

A man who seemed to own the pavement thumper was decked out in matching black and red leather. A quick look at the plates help filled in some of the blanks.

'What kind of bike is this?" I asked.

"It's a Triumph 950."

I looked at the motorcycle with admiration as he volunteered its attributes like a "Cycle World" test driver. The conversation continued.

'Where are you headed?"

"Today Homer, then Fairbanks, the haul road, Top of the World Highway, Dawson, Whitehorse, and then back to Riverside, Calif."

My eyes glazed over and I got that funny fresh-bread feeling in my chest cavity.

Duncan, get a hold of yourself. You're a middle-aged guy with a middle-age spread and middle-age hairline, holding on to an oversized box of doughnuts, and you're going nowhere but back to your middle-sized desk.

You're no Peter Fonda, and the only easy riding you're going to do is in the easy chair during the evening news ride.

As I crawled into my mid-size family mini-van, the thrill of hitting the road subsided. What causes that to happen? Nobody answered me.

Is it natural to want to jump on 950 cubic centimeters of excitement and hit the road of adventure?

I propose that it is natural, and what is not natural is that life should ever become boring.

About this time, a reader is saying, "Rev, you gotta get a hold of yourself. You're no road pounder. You're a 40-plus Christian, home-owning, debit-building, 20-plus-year married man with children, and in need of deliverance from that escapist attitude."

Yes, the facts are all there. But is it still OK to love adventure or are we just destined for a cookie-cutter template of a bored Christian lifestyle? Some may say they tried a godly lifestyle and it became as exciting as a pickup truck rusting contest.

Consider an old acquaintance of mine named David, son of Jesse. He was William Wallace with a sword, Davy Crockett with the bears, Marco Polo with a map, John Wayne when rallying troops, Geronimo on a horse, Tom Cruise with the looks, Fred Astair with the moves and Andrew Murray in the presence of God.

The latter inserts the key that unlocks all the exciting purposeful adventure of God.

You can be bored with any routine regiment in your life, but allowing God's presence to direct your life brings the adventure every soul longs for. Imagine the excitement of angels appearing to shepherds, or, my personal favorite, demonic swine being propelled into space -- Mark 5:13.

The adventure continues with walking on water and many other miracles, with a subplot of treachery and deceit. The adventure looked to end on an old rugged cross and a hard rock tomb. But wait, the adventure continues.

After the resurrection, he is seen ascending into heaven. Now, is the adventure over? No, this is when it really begins for you and me.

The Bible teaches that his life is now displayed in us. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." Verse 10b. continues the theme, "that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."

I firmly believe that you will never be bored fulfilling the purpose of God in your life. Next time you come to church, look around at people for just a quick moment. Take a little inventory of those who seem to be thrilled with serving God.

I will tell you that it's not just a Triumph 950 motorcycle, but rather a life filled to capacity with God's purpose. Why just survive with life when you have been created to thrive?

Start every morning intentionally saying, "Heavenly Father, fulfill your purpose in my life." Don't settle for a bored spiritual life but rather rise every day and say, "Lord, let the adventure begin!"

At the time of this writing, it is raining, and I wonder if that biker would like to borrow my exciting seven-passenger mini-van.

J.D. Duncan is pastor of the Peninsula Christian Center, on Kenai Spur Highway, two blocks from the Soldotna "Y." Sunday services are at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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