Adventure: a New Year’s resolution

Jan 7, 2019

Adventures happen when we take the time to do what we have not done before. Then we realize what has lain within the borders of our own lives, but which we have never bothered to explore.

It is this spirit of adventure within us that determines the excitement of our own lives. But it does not start with an activity itself. It starts with the taste for adventure that has been nurtured within us. And it relies on curiosity and commitment.

Adventure is the willingness to stray outside the ruts in the road, to go where we have not been before. It is the spiritual discipline of talking to people we would never meet otherwise. It is the fun of eating foods we have never tasted till now, of mixing with strangers and making them friends. It is the process of defeating our fear of the unknown and making it a part of our own lives. An adventure is an excursion beyond the fringes of life as we have ever known it. It commits us to going to the end of every interest, of every question mark in our minds.

And why do it? Because it fills in the gaps in our own background and experience. It makes us bigger than we would otherwise be. It lifts us out of the humdrum of our lives and gives us new energy and fresh joy.

Adventures come in a variety of ways. There is no one form only. Many of them are physical, of course. They take us to unknown places or great physical feats.

But there are other kinds of adventure that stretch the soul more than the body. In the end, that kind of adventure can do as much to change our view of life as a climb up Mount Everest might do for someone else. Making my own first movie, or boating down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, or painting my own first picture, bring out an entirely new part of us. Every adventure we undertake leaves us with more soul, more heart, than we ever had before.

No, we cannot do everything in life—but we can do what we have never done before. Then we may discover that life itself is the adventure that it is meant to be. Only when we ourselves test every boundary, explore every question, reach for every experience within our grasp, can we possibly hope to spark the fire in our souls that will light our way through those rare moments in life that are dark and dull.

Then we, too, shall have refused to allow limitations to become the definition of what we mean when we say to ourselves, Am I alive—or not?

Two Dogs and a Parrot by Joan Chittister

Two Dogs and a Parrot

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