When a sheltered lady boards a pirate ship, survival teeters on the edge of a blade. Her heart throbs with percussive gusto. Tendons thicken in her soul’s core. Her spirit expands until she becomes someone she never dreamed. She finds love, masters swordsmanship, and captains a ship. Unknown lands unfold before her. Though her comfortable life disappears from the horizon, she would not return to it now if she could. She is no longer the damsel, but the heroine of her story. And it’s a pirate’s life for her.
We can’t all be pirates. But we can all cultivate a spirit of adventure. In fact, fulfillment requires exploration. Our optimal life demands pursuit of the unknown, things we cannot see beyond our horizons. We cannot live our fullest without risk. Hearts continue beating in comfort zones, but not to capacity. We can exist without adventure, but we cannot thrive. The soul yearns to dwell in meaningful stories, not as a stock character but as the hero.
Several core reasons affirm our need to cultivate a spirit of adventure.
Fear plagues human existence. Anxiety pervades world cultures and is no respecter of age. No one chooses to experience fear, but can choose not to let it enslave us. Stock characters refuse to venture outside the bounds of anxiety, but heroines fight through it. Courage isn’t inborn, but hard won. In plunging through our fears we develop the needed courage to explore new dreams. Adventure affords us a freedom our comfort zone cannot offer.
The mind must stretch to grow and it must dream to remain young. Nothing exercises the brain like exploration. Books, sightseeing, and new forms of outreach add fresh potential to our experience. Everything gleaned from strangers and unfamiliar scenery expands our thinking. We must test the limits we’ve drawn around our understanding of the world. Our dreams depend upon inspiration, and we cannot find it inside a cocoon. In order to fulfill our potential, we must seek the sparks to ignite our imagination. Our purpose lives just beyond our vision in the realm of divine possibilities. We must break out of the chrysalis and fly, for others await the inspiration we alone can bring.
Heroes begin as ordinary folks with untapped potential. Challenges transform a common man into an extraordinary character. If we never step outside our routines, nothing new will shape our perspective. We’ll fail to arrive at profound insights or mature our hearts. Only adventure can uncork inner gifts and fortify the soul. We discover our potential and rise to fulfill it. Exploration takes us beyond the mundane, adding exciting twists to make our personal stories worth sharing with others.
The most important element of life remains lacking until we recognize a need of it. Faith requires a venture outside familiar comforts into the unknown. Christ calls His followers into a life of adventure. “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) does not imply remaining in a static position. If we dwell in the rut of our expertise, we won’t experience faith. The more we must depend upon our faith, the stronger our spiritual core becomes. The reward of an abundant, faith-galvanized life far outweighs the risk.
Life’s greatest risk lies in refusing to leave our ruts. Though God doesn’t call us to seek thrills for their own sake, or to pursue random dangers, He has created us for a specific adventure. A step outside our comfort zone begins the epic journey to fulfill a life of purpose. We choose each day whether to cultivate vitality in our lives. And with every heroic choice to thrive, our character strengthens.
What new venture calls you toward fulfilling your purpose? List one step you’ll take outside your comfort zone this week, or share your favorite verses and hero quotes in the comments.