Eliza, take me with you around the world!
When I was a kid, my favorite show was The Wild Thornberrys. I wanted my life to be just like Eliza Thornberrys' life. Eliza's family traveled the world in an RV that transformed into a submarine and hovercraft (so cool, right?).
I loved the amount of adventure that took place in the show. The Thornberrys were documentary filmmakers who studied wildlife, and things always seemed to go terribly wrong.
But that's what made the show so exciting to me. The "terribly wrong" things made a great story to tell. And I love a good story!
I've always felt like most of my peers don't see things the way I do. An old roommate once said to me, "Maggie, a giraffe can't explain what it sees to a turtle." What she meant is that some people can see the bigger picture and some just can't.
There's nothing wrong with either one of those people, I just happen to be like a giraffe ... I can see the bigger picture.
You can tell me that you want to start an afterschool club for kids, and my eyes will widen with excitement because I'm already thinking about how you can duplicate your club in schools across the country. Is it too soon to think about regional conventions for the kids in your club?
I'm driven by adventure, thinking big, trying new things, and by projects that can address social issues. I want to make a difference in the world, and I truly believe that with the help of God, I can.
And so can you.
I was reminded this week that we don't have to be the Thornberrys to live a life of adventure and do something meaningful. All we must do is be who God called us to be.
Each one of us is different. We were uniquely created with a purpose that fits God's specific (and perfect) plan for our lives. We have different interests, personalities, and callings.
I like roller coasters, and you may like the Ferris wheel. I like notebooks without lines, and may like the ones with them.
The common thread that sews us together, though, is love ... the love of God. When love drives our ambitions and desires, every single day is a meaningful adventure. And all we need to do is buckle up and go for the ride.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." — James 1:2-4
Like any good adventure, you're going to encounter some setbacks and challenges along the way. Things are going to go wrong—that's a guarantee. You're going to be fed up, want to quit, and even shed a tear (or five) when this happens.
We are human so we're going to get emotional. God gets it, which is why He so lovingly gives us His grace to sustain us.
One of the gifts of the Spirit is the gift of prophecy. I can only remember two times in my life when someone gave me a personal prophecy from God. And one of those times was on a youth retreat when I was eleven or twelve-years-old.
I only remember two words that the minister said while praying for me: buckle up.
And as she said those words, she started doing a motion around me as if she was putting on an invisible seatbelt. I know I was supposed to be encouraged, but if I'm honest, she scared the beans out of me.
Buckle up? Did she mean that I would one day get in a car accident? I took what she said literally and rarely ever get in a car without putting on my seatbelt (yes, this still applies).
But that wasn't what she was talking about she when she told me to buckle up.
Ephesians 6:13 says, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
The first piece in the "full armor of God" is the belt of truth. It's of the utmost importance to a Christian because without the Spirit of truth, the armor would have no use and we would be lost.
The minister was telling me to be strapped with the Spirit of truth. She was telling me to buckle up for all the obstacles that I would encounter.
Life is going to take you for a ride, and you can either buckle up and "consider it an opportunity for great joy" or let the ride defeat you.
God uses adversity, challenges, and obstacles to build our faith—to make us stronger, wiser, and better prepared for the amazing things that He has in store for us.
I quote this scripture a lot because it's been the most real in my life:
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." — 2 Corinthians 12:9
God's grace is your seatbelt and all you need. Buckle up!
I challenge you today to view life as an exciting adventure—obstacles and all. As always, I'd love to hear your comments, questions, stories, and feedback. Head on over to the discussions page, and I look forward to chatting with you!
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You were born to do great things. Buckle up, friends.