“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
James 1:2-4

It seems like adventure has become a trendy theme over the last few years — it pops up with cute crossed arrow motifs on journals or on wall hangings. Or in motivational quotes, with some sort of romanticized notion of good times. It seems like Pinterest’s working definition of adventure is “a thrilling, novel experience”.

adventure throw pillow

I mean, who wouldn’t want this attractive, soft, cuddly adventure?

But in my experience, adventures are uncomfortable. My working definition is that at least three things have to deviate from the plan. Something has to go wrong for it to be an adventure, or, as a friend of mine said last weekend, “It’s just a vacation.”

Merriam Webster online defines adventure as “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks”.

In other words, unless you’re a total adrenaline junkie, adventuring is uncomfortable.

I recently went on vacation with the Husband. Before we left, it looked like it would be a Pinterest adventure; scenic locations, romantic man, lots of famous things to see and experience.

The reality was a little a lot different.

Scary Shell Cup

Just like this picture! Glamorous, intricate, and kinda scary.

The bad: I got lost once, cried three or four times, realized I had neglected to ask several foundational planning questions, and generally felt insufficient a lot of the time.

The good: I learned. A lot. Mostly about expectations I couldn’t articulate until they weren’t met, about how much I was selfishly keeping score in my head, about communication, and about my own reluctance to give of myself for the good of the trip.


And seriously, we did get to see some pretty awesome stuff!

I don’t mean to say that the general humbling I experienced over these two weeks is anything quite like the “testing of the faith” James describes — I mean, I was on vacation, and the “trials” were for the most part, ones I volunteered for. But there’s something very real about the magic of welcoming hard things for the purpose of growth.

Maybe that’s what adventure is about after all.

Castle Grounds

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”


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