Why is it that the Christian life is such an adventure? What has your experience been, following hard after God, as best you know?

In my life, I repeatedly find myself in dilemmas that are completely beyond my ability.  This was far less common before I surrendered my life to Christ.  Now, it seems, the adventurous life beacons everywhere.  It seems that God wants me in water just over my head—where I get to trust him as a way of life.  Something inside urges me to sprint into the center of my untidy life and to look for God there, as my provision.

For example…

As a consultant, while traveling to meet the board, elders, and staff of a conflicted church, I discover I’ve been completely misinformed about the severity of the situation into which I’m about to step.  All that I’ve prepared for three days of meetings must be scrapped, and there’s no time to adequately develop a new plan.  I go anyway…

While leading a Bible study, I’m summoned to the phone and learn my son has been in jail for two days, out of state, and unable to reach me.  I book a flight to leave the next morning…

Delivering groceries to the needy, I learn that a woman with whom we’d prayed has been cured of a severe infection.  She insists that I go to see her friend.  On the way, I learn that her friend is dying of brain cancer.  We go anyway. I lay my hands on the woman’s head and pray for her healing…

Driving from church to a Father’s day celebration, traffic is inching past police cars and a fire engine positioned to block the view of drivers when there’s a particularly gruesome accident.  Glancing to my right I see the wreckage of a blue Mustang convertible…

It is the car my daughter and son were driving— the car has flipped onto the hood, windshield flattened.  There is no room for any human to have survived. Driver and passenger must have been thrown from the car … or decapitated.

There can be no other explanation.

Crying out to God, I jerk my car to the curb and sprint toward the shattered remains of Lauren’s car…

I’m shocked to learn that a massive sum of money is missing from a capital campaign.  The only person with access to the funds is a nationally-respected executive with whom I’m scheduled to meet in the next few minutes.  If the conversation doesn’t go well, it could undermine my career.  I go and raise the concern, head-on…

While praying, I’m impressed by God (I think) to “deliver a message” to our Mayor.  For the next several days, I endeavor to dismiss the thought as a ridiculous concoction of my overactive imagination.  The longer I struggle, the stronger the conviction that I’m to make an appointment, sit down with the Mayor, and ask him a very specific question.  I make the appointment, meet with the Mayor, and ask the question…

Paul says he pressed on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him. [Phil 3:12]  This “pressing on” suggests an ardor so intense, a struggle so severe, an exertion so demanding as to have required his all. I wonder if our pursuit of Christ’s calling to change our world would blanche in comparison to that of Paul.

Writing to the Church at Ephesus, about the ferocity of the spiritual struggle that is the Christian life, Paul elsewhere writes: “…and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand…” [Eph 6:13b-14a]  I understand this to mean: “after you’ve given everything in you to stand, keep standing!”

A friend who, for more than a decade, has championed me to live a life of bold, decisive action, says it this way: Throw yourself into the middle of the room, and see what God does with it!

To fully participate in the life God has given us, knowing that in ourselves we’re not enough, is to apprehend the adventurous life.

See you there!

Leadership Courage Series #21:

Leadership in Culture of Cowardice (part twelve)