Guard that Good Thing
There's no such thing as a safe adventure. By definition, adventure is "an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity", and it's an activity that my heart tends to crave. I think all of us long for adventure, in some form or fashion. None of us want to leave this life with the labels of "boring" or "average" strapped to our name.
However, big adventures have a tendency to get messy. My notebooks and day planners are filled with goals that are marked by adjectives like "bigger" and "better", with little regard for my current state of affairs. We get so focused on the end goal of the adventure that we neglect the ingredients necessary for success along the way.
Recently, I came across the quote, "guard that good thing entrusted to you," which was inspired by 2 Timothy 1:14. I love the word entrusted because it makes me think of precious things, people or opportunities that make your life richer and more meaningful. These are the things that make life worth living, and yet, too often, I'm not good at guarding them and holding them close.
I'm starting to realize that, adventure, while thrilling, is meaningless without those good things. If your adventure comes at the expense of your biggest priorities, it might not be worth pursuing, or you may need to go about it in a different way. My old pastor in Nashville recently said, "If we are chasing what really matters, what are we doing right now to make those things a reality?" Or, in my paraphrase, how are we guarding the good things?
How you spend your time is how you spend your life, and I spend my time on a lot of things that aren't my biggest priorities. I work, I stress, I plan, I manage. I try to maximize opportunities and mitigate risk. I'm not saying that these things aren't necessary or important, but I am saying that I don't want them to be my swan song. I want to guard the good things. I want to foster relationships and moments that are life-giving, rather than draining.
Fostering what's been given to you is the crux of the adventure, it's not the corner you cut to save time. Investing in people and protecting your emotional health is not the part of life that we are supposed to save for later.
We're hardwired with a reward mentality that tells us that, only after we achieve a goal, then we can indulge in our spoils. This lens is dangerous because it trains us to overlook the good things that have been entrusted to us right here, right now.
I don't want to live a safe life, but I also don't want the "hazard" of my adventures to be the sacrifice of the most precious things in my life. Jon Acuff once said, "In a world that praises busyness, rest is an act of bravery." Being brave includes guarding your priorities with a strict diligence. I want to be labeled with that kind of bravery.
For the risk to be worthwhile, we have to stop sacrificing everything. To really live our adventure, we have to guard that good thing entrusted to us.