Windows are pretty amazing. There are so many interesting and beautiful things to see if you spend time looking through the right windows. Most of us probably take them for granted. Imagine, if you will, what your life would be like without any windows at all:
In your house.
Where you work.
In your car (also dangerous).
Windows give us perspective, open our mind’s eye to possibilities and allow us to visually experience the beauty of God’s creation.
Windows do, however, have limitations. A window can’t take you anywhere. A window can make you feel like you’re participating in something that, in actuality, you’re just observing. A window may provide a sense of safety, but you can’t truly engage with the outside world on the safe side of the glass.
At its best, a window provides an opportunity to observe something.
. . .
You may have experienced an adventure at some point in your life; perhaps you traveled far from home to help some group of people in need, or stopped your car on a busy highway to assist a stranger in a time of crisis. If you’re really crazy, you may have ridden a bicycle some ridiculous distance or hiked a dangerous trail or mountain.
During your adventure, there’s a good chance you felt differently from the way you feel when you are doing normal things like grocery shopping or paying your taxes. You felt fear, you felt camaraderie, you prayed like you’ve never prayed before; you shed tears; you felt an amazing sense of accomplishment and a rush of adrenaline; you saw God do things that seemed too good to be true; you felt truly alive, selflessly committed to a task and serving a purpose. And then you went home. Does any of this sound familiar?
That experience was a window.
Why? Because after you and I experienced our adventure, we went back to our regular lives, watching TV in the air conditioning and catching up with the Internet. Enjoying the comforts of home feels nice for a moment, but if you’re anything like me, you eventually found yourself reflecting upon the fact that you saw something on that adventure that you can’t see from your couch.
It was a window deep into your soul.
Through that window of adventure, you saw what it could be like; maybe you caught a glimpse of the life God designed you to live. You were inspired to go on other adventures, or to pack up and make your life one long adventure. You’re compelled to start looking for adventures in your own backyard. Maybe you saw miracles unlike any you’ve seen before. You heard the voice of God speak to you in your suffering or as you empathized with someone else’s suffering. What did He say? What did He show you through that window?
But the window gets a little foggy when you get home. Maybe your friends aren’t into adventures. Maybe your job is really hard and you don’t have time to venture out anymore. Maybe you only choose to remember the unpleasant parts of the adventure after you get home because you are quite comfortable and don’t remember why you went out in the first place. Adventures are for other people, you suppose. And now you can barely see through the window at all.
A window is good, but it’s only a window.
Unless it’s also a step.
If you experienced an adventure, it was likely something God asked of you, and you obeyed. That’s a step. After your adventure, God is asking for more, asking for you to take another step. If you look at the window of your adventure as a step, you will probably take more steps in that direction.
Your adventure was not an accident, an isolated series of experiences or merely an interesting departure from the usual. It was an opportunity for God to show you things, a gentle (or not-so-gentle) nudge to start walking in His direction. Every step may not occur during an adventure, but as you participate in the adventure of God’s will and design for your life, He’ll surely take you into places and situations that are adventurous; past the window, into the joy of a life of serving.
If you’re wondering what your next step might be, I encourage you to find a community of folks who live like this. If you don’t know anyone who does, visit VentureExpeditions.org. There’s a community of people who are discovering their souls and benefiting the world as they step into God’s plan, one adventure at a time.
Turn off the TV and step through the window.
Ben Skoda lives in Chicago. In the summer of 2010, Ben rode his bicycle from Seattle to New York with Venture Expeditions to raise funds and awareness for the Just+Hope Campaign, which addresses injustice and oppression in Southeast Asia.