To say the last 18 months has been an adventure feels like it perhaps puts a too shiny a description on it, yet we have come to know adventure is not a thing we choose, but something that finds us, something we are led into and cannot prepare for. As G.K Chesterton states,
“an adventure is, by its nature a thing that comes to us, a thing that chooses us, not a thing we choose.”
An adventure by its very nature calls us out, to rise and have courage, to dig deep into the chasms of our inner storehouse and press on. The last 18 months has been that, we have found ourselves in places and junctures where we have had to face and make choices, big choices, choices we couldn't prepare for, yet graciously, life silently prepared us. This someway is the essence of adventure, rising to the moment on paths one could not foresee, but it is also the great invitation of love, to learn to choose beyond oneself into new realms, to offer new sacrifices and face both wonder and mystery and be at peace in each. Both adventure and love, by their nature, are not always easy, but life is richer for both, and they are the heartbeat of sonship. We could not have prepared emotionally or physically for the choices we have had to wrestle with of latter years, yet spiritually, without perceiving it we have been made ready. When our steps have reached these junctures, we have found we have the capacity to choose, to answer the calls, to show up in response, we have not found this because of our own wisdom or strength, but the adventures past have taught us to draw not on what's in us, but who is for us, who is with us. That 'anchor' is full of hope, even facing paths less travelled. Nelson Mandela so wisely said:
'may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.'
This is the posture of sonship, the posture of our freedom and the way of true adventure. We are constantly finding, and have found that our ‘strength’ and ‘power’, our ‘ability’ for the road, comes less from what we know, or what we can or could accomplish, but is from occupying the land of hope, and adjusting ourselves moment by moment to its climate. We have trembled much, wrestled often with the choices and invitations set before us, tussled with circumstance, but despite all of our humanity we are also learning. We are fine tuning our ear to the sound and temptation of fear, however subtle it might come, fine tuning our discernment for it it’s invitation and opportunities. Choosing through the deception and lens of fear reduces, robs and distorts our journey in every way, even if we don’t at first perceive it. Faith in the sound of fear shrinks all possibility and growth, yet hope! Hope expands, enlarges and lightens the load, come what may, hope evokes possibility, even in the mystery. Hope is a climate of growth and change. Hope is a joyful anticipation for good, for better, for possibility, for life. Hope equips us to stand in a different climate, evoke a different environment for the circumstance faced. Hope has eyes that see, it sees the One who sees us, knows us, and chooses us. Hope fearlessly accepts all things are possible despite the circumstances. The constant invitation is to not be under a spirit of fear but be alive, captive to Hope, as Zechariah 9:12 (NIV) invites:
“ Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you”
this is an ever present invitation, a choice in the midst of a thousand choices. We can be captive to hope and possess the fortress of its land.
In current culture fear is breeding and birthing; its a tool utilised more and more in media and culture, it’s no surprise, it points to the times. Fear is in our midst, but I hasten to add hope is here also, Hope is our power, our triumph and our invitation. Lest we not neglect its voice, its invitation, how hope is the currency for change and transformation. This is a time to invest, invest in the storehouses of hope, and as we push through and wrestle choices today that concern our tomorrow, may we be able to say that we didn't heed to fear, but our story, the narrative we fashion with every single choice will indeed be reflective of our hopes. As the great psalmist King David says,
‘Messiah, I know God himself will establish your kingdom as you reign in Zion-glory. For he says to you, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” (Psalm 110:2 TPT).
We are called to, invited to thrive and rule in the midst of our enemies, and that is what fear is, but Hope is the sound of redemption. It is our sound.