Adventure: an exciting or remarkable experience; an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks
Last weekend at church, my pastor talked about adventure. About how life is a great adventure - one that takes time and presents us with immense challenges. One that, if we have perseverance, is more worth it than we could ever imagine.
And it made me realize how incredibly thematic adventure is in my own life - something I think I have always known, but hearing Pastor Dave's sermon really drove the idea home. I mean, I named this blog "Adventures of the Nalani Variety" - and that was almost five years ago, before I had any idea what an adventure my life would truly become!
Especially over the last few months, I have realized a lot about the kind of person that I am and the things that I am expectant of in my life.
I want to experience exciting, remarkable things!
I want to live a life of passion, of extraordinary.
Really, more than anything, my heart craves an adventure.
I don't want to become a person who just does my job during the week, goes to church on Sunday, and then repeats the cycle over and over again. I recognize that soon, I will have a job and a home a family and a routine - for most Americans, that is reality! And believe me, becoming a nurse and a wife and a mother are all things that I am hopefully expectant of, things that I will rejoice in!
But I want more than that. I want to see beauty and passion and excitement in everything I do, everywhere I go, in every relationship I have.
Someday, most certainly (who knows, maybe even TODAY!), I want to do the thrilling things that come to mind when you hear the word "adventure" - I want to travel to exotic destinations, skydive, zipline in Pi'iholo, Maui, swim with dolphins, hike mountains, explore. But, more than any of that, I want my life to be defined by an attitude of adventure.
I think that, more than skydiving or traveling (or the willingness to do those things), adventure is a matter of the heart. It's being dissatisfied with only this; it's pressing for more, higher, deeper, longer, FULLER.
Not to be mistaken for being discontent with the right now, with this moment, with this place. No, I mean precisely the opposite - I mean endeavoring to make the most out of exactly this moment; I mean being committed to having an extraordinary experience no matter how ordinary something might appear to be.
I mean walking through Target with one of your best friends shopping for shower curtains and recognizing that you are walking through that moment with one of your best friends. And being so incredibly thankful that you have best friends.
I mean falling in love hard, head over heels in love, with people and places and seasons and experiences and lessons and right now.
I mean expecting exquisite, magical moments in the midst of walking through the day to day.
I mean dreaming of beautiful, wonderful, bigger-than-life things, and being 100% committed to the journey that it takes to get there.
I mean cherishing and celebrating every single moment, because you're never going to get it back again. And because, someday, you're going to want to remember it. You're going to want to say that you made the most out of every beautiful, or tragic, breath that you took.
That's the kind of adventure I want my life to be. I want to be surrounded by and invested in people who will go on adventures with me - and I am so blessed to be able to say that's true of my life right now. And someday, when I meet the man I am going to marry, I want him to be a man that will go on these adventures with me, too - someone who won't just tolerate my dreamer's heart, but someone who will come right alongside me and dream exciting new dreams with me.
And I think the key to all of this is what I said before - I have found, and I believe with all of my heart, that the secret to leading a life of adventure, the secret to walking down an extraordinary path, is being committed to the journey. Not necessarily the destination - so many people are just trying to get there, wherever there is, that they miss the thrill and the beauty of this. Right now.
So be committed to your journey. Be willing to submit all of your doubts and fears and expectations to a God who promises that His plans will bring you hope, prosperity, a bright future! Be bold enough to take risks and to walk into unknown territory. Let change happen. Look for the beauty and the joy in where you are right now...
And friends, you'll see adventure all around.
I'm not saying it's easy - quite the opposite, actually. It's resolving to challenge your ordinary - and I don't know about you, but that certainly doesn't come naturally for me.
But I wouldn't want it any other way.