A Life-Changing Adventure

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During the weekend service, Ben interviewed Nate Cook, a CedarCreek attendee who experienced quite an adventure on the television show Naked and Afraid. CedarCreek’s mission is to introduce people to Jesus and the life-changing adventure with him. But what is an “adventure”?

An adventure, as Ben defined, is “a bold undertaking, usually involving danger and unknown risks, that leads to exciting new experiences.”

If adventures usually involve danger and unknown risks, that means there’s no guarantee of success or safety when you go on them. It’s enough to make some of us wonder, “Why should we go on an adventure at all?”

Personally, I’ve struggled with perfectionism most of my life. There have been times when I felt it was better to not try something at all, rather than risk failing at it—so part of me recoils at the idea of success not being guaranteed. Maybe you’re like me, or maybe the idea of safety not being guaranteed makes you anxious.

But you know what? The times I’ve decided to do something adventurous have led to some of the most life-changing experiences for me—experiences that shaped who I am, helped me grow in ways I couldn’t imagine, brought me closer to God, and honestly, completely altered the path I was on.

For example, in my senior year of high school, I applied for my college’s “Freshman Irish Studies Program.” I had lived in the same house, in the same small town, since I was three.  I had known many of my friends since elementary school, and some even since kindergarten. But if I was accepted into this program, I would spend my first semester of college (which was already a big shift for me) in a foreign country with a group of students I’d never met before.

I was accepted, and that experience changed my life forever. My own family still says I came back changed (in a good way), and nearly seven years later, the people I met on that trip are still some of my most trusted friends. Applying was scary, but it was the best decision I’ve made in my life, so far.

However, if we are looking to have adventurous opportunities following Jesus, there are things we need to surrender:

  • Convenience
  • Comfort
  • Control

Spending my first semester in a different country was not comfortable; it definitely wasn’t convenient; and there was a lot outside of my control. I had no idea what to expect. But looking back, I wouldn’t exchange that experience for anything—definitely not for those three Cs.

When you see that surrendering those things can lead to adventurous opportunities, it changes your perspective on uncomfortable, inconvenient, or uncontrollable experiences you might have previously avoided.

You start to realize what you might have thought of as an inconvenience, a threat, or underlying anxiety before is really an invitation to step into the bold and risky adventure in front of you—which can lead to experiences that are truly meaningful and fulfilling.

Over the next four days, we’ll look at four characters from the Bible and how they surrendered areas of convenience, comfort, and control by choosing to live by faith—and as a result, lived full and meaningful lives.

Questions:
Think of a time God called you into an adventure. Did you follow? What was the result?

What opportunities are you avoiding for the sake of your comfort, convenience, or control? What would it take to get you to take the step God is calling you to make?

Next Steps:
Read Matthew 16:25. Reflect on this verse and what it means to give up your life for Jesus’ sake. Write it down. Memorize it.

The next time you find yourself avoiding something for the sake of your comfort, convenience, or control, pause and ask yourself if God is calling you into an adventure. Pray and seek God’s direction.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the life-changing adventure you call us into. Thank you for being faithful and trustworthy—we know that no matter where you lead us, you’ll be there with us. Help us to listen for and follow your guidance. Teach us to surrender comfort, convenience, and control so we can follow the exciting plans you have for us. May your will be done in us and through us. Amen.


This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.


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5 replies
  1. Luke Shortridge
    Luke Shortridge says:

    Great stuff, Payton! I felt the same way about joining the internship program at CedarCreek. At 19 years old I was given the opportunity to raise support… walking into the living rooms of people I’ve never met and explaining my desire to be in full time ministry someday. It was bold, risky, and one of the best decisions of my entire life! God is so good! Like Charles Stanley says, “Obey God and trust the results to Him.”

  2. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    Thanks Payton for the preview of what’s coming! Also, for helping me to remember where God has called me to join him in an adventure. I’ve had the privilege to do some singing, some traveling, comforting and learned so much more about myself and how God sees me. I prefer the way God sees me over the world or even myview.

  3. Hayden Pryka
    Hayden Pryka says:

    “The times I’ve decided to do something adventurous have led to some of the most life-changing experiences for me”. I feel exactly the same way and I always try to convey to people that taking a step out of your comfort zone is so helpful. God always has some really cool things for us. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Martha Smith
    Martha Smith says:

    Hi Payton,
    What a helpful message. Thank you for your perspective…I’d love to go to Ireland!
    Sincerely,
    Martha

  5. Payton Lechner
    Payton Lechner says:

    Honestly, Luke, I could’ve talked about my own experience with CedarCreek’s internship just as easily as Ireland here. It was a step into the unknown that also changed the course of my life, with fantastic results!

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