Repost: Further up and further in

Note: This is a repost from April. As I am in the middle of a job transition things have been really hectic lately and I am trying to settle things out with my new schedule and responsibilities. I am using this week to get caught up on my blogging and will be back in gear next week. Trevor and Allen will have original content this week. Thanks for your patience!

It is easy for me to get swept up in epic stories like “Lord of the Rings” or real adventurers like Lewis and Clark because of the elements or risk and danger associated. I am not by nature a risk taker, but I am a sucker for adventure stories.

When brave people decide to intentionally move themselves towards something new and unseen, great things tend to happen. They lay their eyes upon what others have only pictured in their minds but were too fearful to explore.

And, these explorers and adventurers were defined for the rest of their lives by their adventure. It haunted them. They were never the same after they saw this new country. The ring bearers in “The Lord of the Rings” had to depart Middle Earth for the Gray Havens because of their adventure. The conquest of the West eventually consumed Meriweather Lewis and he took his own life. Once they tasted what was real and true, they couldn’t go back to what was normal.

Explorers are those who are not afraid to go deep into something. For these brave ones, just thinking about what something could look like if they went was not enough. They had to go. They had to respond to the stirring of their hearts. It had to be them.

When we consider spiritual depth, we must take on the mindset of the explorer and adventurer. Engaging God on a deeper and more intentional level means being open to what you will find-whether you like it or not. When we choose to go deep, we prepare ourselves to see God on his own terms in all of his mystery. The deep places of God are wild and unpredictable.

In C.S. Lewis’ epilogue to the Chronicles of Narnia, called The Last Battle, the story concludes with the end of Narnia and the beginning of something new. The kids entered the “Real” Narnia with the animals. The quote from the unicorn still haunts me:

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”

When we willingly explore the depths of God, things are always new. We can go further up and in to this wild landscape and it just gets better and better.

When we go further up and in:

Easy answers aren’t enough

God escapes “the box” we put him in rather quickly.

Things look different. Even our view of God might change.

We test the “status quo”.

We take risks.

We want to be people of adventure. But, we have to be willing to explore. We must be brave and courageous. It takes risk and  Let’s go further up and further in.

What does spiritual adventure look like to you?

2 thoughts on “Repost: Further up and further in

  1. This is a really important point Chris – one that we MUST explore more deeply because it taps into the very nature of our created existence. One of the best – and yet most painful, disorienting, and frustrating – events in my life was my sudden loss of job, church family and community when I was unexpectedly laid off from my last youth ministry position 7 years ago. That was the catalyst that propelled us onto a more adventurous path. We’ve seen things we still can’t describe; experienced things we’ll be processing for years to come. And you’re right, there is no going back to “business as usual.” And that’s okay, but we – disciples of Jesus, that is – aren’t meant for business as usual. We are meant to be the emissaries of a completely new system. As another Narnian quote says about Jesus, “He isn’t safe. But he is good.”

    We are so obsessed with the safe that we miss the good.

    I really like this short video from the Verge conference a few years ago where Alan Hirsch discussed this same idea:

    Good thoughts Chris.

    • Thanks man. This part of the “Last Battle” has stuck in my head for a long time. What I really love about this part is the fact there is no end. A life of depth and the spiritual journey just keeps getting better and more meaningful. In light of our transition as a family this reality is becoming more apparent.

      I appreciate your family and the willingness to take risks like you have. In some ways you guys have given us permission to make some bolder choices in our direction. Thanks again for your comment.

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