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A Heart for Adventure

June 6, 2013

“Not all those who wander are lost.” This is one of my all time favorite quotes from J.R.R. Tolkien, who also happens to be one of my all time favorite authors. You’ve probably seen the quote floating around Pinterest or other social sites, and it seems to resonate with a significant portion of our generation. I think this strikes a chord within the hearts of so many because Tolkien understood the innate desire for a life full of adventure and the natural tendency to want to explore the world. Just look at The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy (where the quote is from)-these books appeal to a deep desire for a life full of adventure. The characters are a part of this epic adventure and along the way discover many facets about their own character and strength of will, and also their relationships with others.

I only bring this up because I feel like I am in a season of life where I am craving adventure and new experiences. I want to meet people and learn and grow from them. I desire to explore-whether my city, state, country or world, I want any and all of those. There is this deep longing within me. I find a lot of comfort and encouragement from this short little quote from Tolkien. I feel like I am just wandering, unsure of where to go next. But I’m not lost. By the world’s standards, it may appear that I am indeed lost, but I know that I am firmly rooted in Christ and along for the adventure that he offers to me each morning.

I’m honestly unsure of where this adventure may lead, but I am confident that I can rest knowing it is in His hands. I am learning a lot about myself in this season of life and it has been reassuring to grow increasingly more confident of who I am as an individual and my identity in Christ.

I recently had a job interview that kind of fell into my lap, so I figured I would give it a shot and at least gain some interview experience from it. It would have been a good job to start out in-a receptionist in a life insurance company downtown. It definitely isn’t the kind of job I would picture myself doing, but I had been feeling the pressure to move forward in life. The interview went great and they asked me to take some personality tests as per company policy. A week later I received a phone call saying I would need to discuss my results with someone from corporate. I was incredibly intimidated and not particularly looking forward to an hour long phone interview with a stranger.

But can I just tell you? It ended up being such a gift! The woman I spoke to, Emily, saw on my resume that I had been involved with Young Life and it turned out she is a Christian as well. That opened up a whole new level of honesty that allowed me to feel more comfortable sharing my life with her. After we went through my experiences and everything, she walked me through the personality test again. She told me that my responses had been conflicting and it made it difficult to get an accurate understanding of who I am and how I function in the workplace. Turns out, I am constantly trying to become someone I’m not. Shocking. But really not at all. I find myself often admiring the qualities in others while not appreciating how God created me. After going through the whole thing with her again, I felt like I have such a better understanding of who I am and what my strengths are. Turns out, I’m not really wired to sit at a desk trapped inside four walls for nine hours a day. Not that anybody really is, but some people are able to adjust to that and excel. Emily really encouraged me to stop striving to become someone different than God created me to be. She told me that God has created each of us uniquely with different talents and gifts. And then she very honestly told me that she thought this job wasn’t really for me. She wasn’t pressuring me or anything, but she said she thought I could find something that I would enjoy more if I sought it out.

That whole conversation BLEW MY MIND. I had already been having doubts about taking the job, and then God used Emily to reassure me that there was nothing wrong with turning it down. When I got off the phone with her, I cried for awhile. Trying to be someone you’re not is exhausting, and I had been striving for so long. It was so freeing to hear her speak those words of encouragement to me from a completely unbiased perspective. I had been thinking I needed to talk to someone about it who wasn’t invested in my daily life, but I hadn’t thought to pray about it. But God knew what I needed anyway. He truly amazes me each day.

This was just an awesome moment that I wanted to share and encourage y’all to embrace who God has created you to be. You have unique talents that make you who you are, and God has gifted these to you in order for you to best glorify Him. Don’t waste them trying to be someone you’re not. I know that I’m wandering through life at the moment, but it’s only so that I might find how I can best play my role in the Kingdom. I’m not lost. I’m found in Christ, and realizing that each day is what gives my life purpose.



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