ADVENTURE, according to Webster’s:
Shyly, standing on one foot, I leaned in across the librarian’s desk to whisper, “Do you have any new adventure books from Enid Blyton?” I’d just checked the shelf that held this British author’s delectable magic, had run my fingers over the spines of the ones I’d already devoured – hoping against hope for a new one to appear…just for me. Only… it didn’t seem to be there…
“Well, now, let’s see…” she murmured, leading me back to the very same bookcase. I held my breath as she too ran her fingers book to book. “I know I saw one come back the other day…” she mumbled, more to herself than to me.
PleasePleasePlease, I pleaded silently…almost as a prayer… closing my eyes…
Then she was placing a volume in my hands, whispering wonder into my ears. “Here’s a lovely one I don’t think you’ve read yet,” she said, beaming at me. “It was misfiled on the shelf below…”
I looked down to the treasure I now held, then back up to her eyes. “Yes!” I breathed. “Thank you!”
She patted my shoulder, went back to her desk. I broke open the cover… allowed myself the joy of inhaling the first paragraph before checking it out to take home. A whole new adventure with Jack, Philip, Dinah, and Lucy-Ann!
How I loved this foursome of English children. Dear friends who, together with their pet, Kiki – the sometimes too-talkative cockatoo – were always becoming snarled up in the most amazing escapades I could imagine. They might be discovering smugglers inside the internal hollows of the very mountain where they’d gone off camping on their own, or uncovering mysteries when picnicking on a lone island, or capturing thieves in the middle of a circus – no matter how much they promised themselves to “just to have a quiet holiday.”
I was entranced with how they were always packing “tins” of intriguing-sounding foods like biscuits and hams, and how they were free to roam through their “hols” from boarding school, unchaperoned – sometimes for days on end – in places or isles or villages with lovely, mysterious- sounding names like the “Isle of Gloom” in Cornwall or “Spring Cottage on Castle Hill” or a home called Craggy-Tops.
I was even intriguingly smitten with the author’s name, Enid… so mysterious-sounding in itself, to my American ears…and found myself repeating it to myself wonderingly. Who was this woman and where did she come up with such fantastic stories! Someday, I wanted to write…like her…
Holding my breath, I’d dive in to the story as the children inevitably embroiled themselves in some fantastic scrape or another… and gasp with relief when their close grownup friend and detective Bill arrived out of nowhere. Often as not, they’d even rescue him with their amazing and clever plans! It was all fantasy…pure and delightful…and one that would have left me trembling in fear if it ever were to happen in real life. But oh, the adventures I could join through imagination!
This is the meaning of the word adventure, I told my starry-eyed self then. Adventures that could only be in books… or movies…or maybe, for real life spies. Not in my life…
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
– Helen Keller
…Now, as I look at my life, I find that God has not only planted the longing for soaring adventure in our souls, He is equally yearning to take us from adventure to adventure as we lean into Him. Beyond-our-imagination, more-than-we-can-think or dream, Ephesians 3:20 escapades like…
As a child, I often eavesdropped on Mom, talking and praying with others on the phone. I heard the answers to prayer, believed in miracles, and found myself praying along. For people I knew, going through health crisis. For strangers who touched me through their gifts…such as authors of my favorite stories, musicians and artists and actors I saw on TV.
Never dreaming how far God might take those prayers. How He might open the way for me to meet people I never could have imagined meeting, putting me in a place and time I could not have planned or arranged – as He did in one story I wrote about here: Candlelight Carols… “Fourth Stanza”
Or how He could give me words of encouragement to lift a stranger’s heart…
How He has put me into the very stories of the people and things I am praying for…
And opened doors to places and people I could never open myself.
How he wondrously transforms words He puts in my prayers to “open prison doors, bring beauty out of ashes, pour out His oil of gladness.”
Even tearing down strongholds greater than any my English adventurers ever conquered.
Every day He reminds me He is the original Author of Adventure, the Romancer of our soul… and as we turn to Him, He delights in writing adventure into each line…
Once I knew only darkness and stillness…my life was without past or future…but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living. – Helen Keller
Today… in this beginning of a new year… I have more than the usual unknowns. It can make me a bit fearful as I anticipate a few miracles. Like Enid’s Jack, Philip, Dinah, and Lucy-Ann, I tend to want “nice quiet days.”
Lord, lead me, show me, anoint me… I pray.
Will you take My Hand, trust Me to open doors, lead this adventure? He asks.
Sometimes, my heart is in my throat. But… I remember His promises. I lean into His Word to hope, trust, believe.
I remember places He has taken me beyond my dreams. And like Annie Sullivan to Helen Keller, He drops His Word into my hands. I don’t want to clutch at emptiness.
I recall how no one ever told me that Enid had written literally hundreds of other books beyond the adventure series I loved. (Those are all her own books beside her in the photo above!) And how many other adventures I might have enjoyed if I’d only known!
And I think…maybe adventures aren’t just for books. I don’t want to miss joys He has planned, unaware. Suddenly, I feel that old prickly excitement of wondering where The Author might take me…My heart leaps to His.
Yes, I say. I’ll take your Hand…If You’ll go with me, enable me…
Always, He promises, with the sound of stirring and remarkable romance echoing in His words.
The word ‘romance,’ according to the dictionary, means excitement, adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime. – Billy Graham
Mmm. Yes. And beyond… 🙂
© Pam Depoyan
How is your life tuned to “adventure” right now?
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