We have all felt it – an inexplicable, unquenchable ache. We ache for many things in life. Ache to feel loved, ache to have purpose, and ache to experience true adventure. Modern man has actually concocted an entire industry to satisfy the ache by a cheap, or in some cases – not so cheap, thrill which heightens our adrenaline rush – and in some cases, our stomach contents. We could ride every roller coaster ever built, jump out of airplanes at 10,000 feet, or bungee jump over the Grand Canyon, but still, deep in our souls, we know this is not true adventure. We were created for more.
As I glance at the picture of the diving horse, my first thought is that this woman may be my patient in the next few days! But my second and lasting thought is that the picture captures the kind of all-out, feverish gusto and appetite for adventure that I wished characterized my life. Both horse and rider have no thoughts of their own safety not because they are insane masochists, but because they place their trust outside themselves. They trust in their training and in the construction of the diving platform, but most of all they trust in the warm, deep pool which will welcome and protect them as their journey draws to a close. The pool below is their savior. This gets me thinking about my trust, or often lack thereof, in my Savior. I too long for my hair to be blown back by the velocity with which I run toward my destiny, my created purpose. But all too often, like a modern day Jonah, I not only fail to run toward my future, I run away from it!
My favorite song of all time, Friendly Jas, describes what I wish my life looked like. The lyrics are as follows:
Everything has changed/
But our hope remains the same/
I want you to know that I’ll be here/
Through a hundred years of rain/
Together we run into what we do not know/
Trusting our God who made tomorrow.
The last two lines can make me cry if I really think about them while I’m singing along in the car. I want to run toward the unknown, not saunter, not creep cautiously. I want to pick up speed, dive off the platform, feel the wind hit me stinging my skin with its speed, widen my eyes as I see the pool race toward me, tighten my grip with my fingers intertwined in my companion’s mane, and trust completely in my God who made me and my tomorrow.
Famed writer, C.S. Lewis has a quote which always impacts me especially when speaking about desire and adventure.
If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
I long not to quench my ache for adventure – for there will always be longing and unmet desire in this world – but to heighten my ache! The ache is not a sign of something wrong, but a sign of life! O Lord, let me not be too easily pleased, but instead make me desire intensely, love deeply, and live on purpose trusting in you who made tomorrow. Dive in – the water’s great.