I went to the lake with several of my friends and their families yesterday. We had blankets, kayaks, paddle boards, and food galore. All of us adults (I use this term loosely) plopped down into chairs and just watched as the kids embraced every ounce of opportunity for fun. I was in awe as I watched a few of the younger ones hop into kayaks and take off as though they'd been paddling white water rapids their entire lives, no fear of the risks or of the unknown.
After a while one of the girls asked if I would go "adventuring" with her. Who am I to turn down an adventure? Bare foot and in bathing suits we began hiking on the sandy beach out towards the trees. We walked until we reached a point where we had a few options. We could take the paved road, the beaten path, or into the forest where it looked as no man had gone before. Seeing as I was not the instigator of this journey I asked my small friend which way she wanted to go. She looked at each direction and then pointed to the area with no trail. I responded, "Are you sure? We don't have shoes!" She looked at me politely, smiled, and said, "I like adventures!"
I imagine I was quite like her as a child. Always looking for an adventure. Always looking for places and things that would take me beyond the normal or the mundane. When we're young we aren't quite aware of those things called risks. At six years ol, Keturah wasn't thinking about the things I was thinking about. I imagined all the things that could go wrong... thorns, poison oak, snakes. She only thought about all the things that could go right and the thrill of adventure that lay ahead on the path that everyone else was too afraid to take.
As we hiked on I realized something, I was proud of my little friend. She had decided to take a risk. She didn't choose the easy way or the popular way, she chose adventure and I was going to be by her side every step of the way.
When we choose to step out and take risks, God doesn't leave our side, He snuggles in close. He's aware of the threats and the dangers and He walks with us hand and hand. He leads us and guides us as we navigate the adventure we stepped out into. He's proud of us. We don't have to be focused on the risk when we know our Father is at our side. Turah wasn't afraid because she knew I was there and that I had her back.
We turned a corner and reached an untouched edge of the water. The rocks were stunning just below the surface and as we stepped out we had the most stunning view of the mountains. So simply she said, "see, this is why I love adventures. It's so beautiful."
You may have taken a risk and been hurt before. Maybe you've just grown up and life has taught you that there's no time for adventure. Perhaps the fear of falling has kept you from taking a leap, but I want to remind you God won't abandon you in your risk. You're not alone.
And never forget, on the other side of the risk is an adventure that brings indescribable beauty.
So, to the adventurers, we've more heights to conquer, more places to explore, more risks to overcome, and more beauty to be found.