In truth, every time we do something that is outside our normal and regular routine, we are embarking on an adventure. The word adventure actually means to ‘take a chance’ or ‘take a risk.’ Surely, raiding a dragon’s lair is that, but so is writing a poem and putting it on Facebook where everyone can see it. Climbing the Himalayas is a risk, but so is purchasing one’s first home. Skydiving is taking a chance, but so is taking a yoga class. Stretching ourselves beyond our normal boundaries always requires us to exercise some degree of risk and chance, because what is outside our normal boundaries is, as yet, unknown to us. It feels to us as vast to us as the ocean that separated Europe and the New World for the early explorers. It doesn’t matter that others have done it before us. Because we have never done it ourselves, it becomes an adventure.
You know you’re on an adventure when you feel just a twinge of anxiety or excitement – when you feel a touch of fear and uncertainty – when you feel your breath catch in your throat – when you’re unsure of the outcome of your actions. Even in the realm of the soul, adventure beckons. Consider the Israelites being asked to cross the Red Sea, or Jonah being asked to go to Nineveh, or Martha being asked to believe in the resurrection, or the disciples being asked to pray in new ways. These and countless other stories show us that the life of the soul requires a willingness to step into an adventure.
So, you may be much more like Bilbo Baggins that you think! Rather than telling yourself you’re not adventurous, why not think of the 5 adventures you’ve had in the past week? You might be surprised to find that you have been leaving your little comfortable hobbit house much more than you thought, and oh, how you’ve grown because of it!