Are you living the Grand Adventure?

Posted by James Hahn on

Wednesday September 25th, 2018

Luke 9:1-6

Me with my two oldest sons on a Wilderness Outreach Trip in CA
I often like to think of life as a big game, a grand adventure put on for me by my Heavenly Father.  It's a game where I cannot lose and an adventure that never ends, only changes locations.  To be clear though, I can lose if I don't follow the parameters set out for me.  However, if I follow those, I should have nothing to fear.  My father will provide all that I need.

To some this idea may border on heresy.  While I admit I am no theologian, I don't think my idea is too far off base.  If we think about it, this is the same world that God created for Adam and Eve.  Yeah, let that sink in.  When God created the earth and stars, moon and fish, dogs, and mosquitoes, it was this one.  Too often I like to think that that was another place and time, a different planet almost.  But it wasn't.  This is the world God created for us to live in.  It is the place where we were to be fruitful and multiply.  It is the place where we would be able to walk and talk with our Heavenly Father "in the garden in the cool of the day."  It is the place where you and I would go on grand adventures and explore, live, love, and laugh without care or worry.

Sin entered into the world and changed it, altered, but it didn't recreate it.  Sin doesn't have that kind of power.  The devil cannot create, he can only twist.  And so the good things God created became twisted through our eyes.  The communication we were to have with God and others became self focused.  The world that was to serve our needs and be lived in became a little harsher and so did we.  The earth that was to be our home and nourishment became a big box store in the midst of a riot.

So the earth changed a bit but wasn't remade or destroyed.  A veil fell upon the earth and things changed.  God didn't.  God can't.  He still wants us on this grand adventure. He still wants us to play the game.  The parameters have changed a little and it's a bit more difficult but it's still awesome.  I think if we live this way, if we live with our hearts and minds as though we are still in the original creation, it can help us a great deal.  Back then, before sin entered in, there was no doubt that God would provide.  Now we doubt, now we wonder if he'll provide, if He exists, if He still loves us.  Who changed?  Not God.

What if you and I lived that now, with absolute faith that God will take care of us and provide for us?  What if we took the scriptures to heart and cast all our cares on the Lord and remembered that fear is useless and that we are worth more than a thousand sparrows and every hair on our head is accounted for, that we are loved.

In today's Gospel Jesus is giving the disciples and us the opportunity to trust the Father.  He is giving them and us the power to heal, mend, reconcile.  He is giving them the privilege of beginning the return to the original plan, to be a source of light and life in the world that has been...twisted.

He challenges and instructs them and us to take nothing for the journey.  This instruction accomplishes a couple of things.  First, it reminds us that everything comes from God and God will provide, He wants to!  Second, it keeps us, in our weakened state, from the temptation to attribute the grace of God to an object or worse, ourselves.  We could think that we need a "lucky" rabbit's foot, staff, belt, or St. Joseph statue.

God wants us to trust Him, He wants to provide for us and He will if we let Him.  Lest anyone think I'm advocating lying around and waiting on God to serve us, let me make it clear.  I take my prompts from scripture.  Adam was placed in the garden to tend it and protect it, to work and guard.  The disciples weren't told to wait for the sick to come to them.  They and we are sent.  We are commanded to work, guard, preach, heal, and love.  These are all actions, all part of the grand adventure.  Let's live like the adventure will never end, because it won't.  Let's live like we have major roles to play in the adventure, because we do.

From the Saints So then, let’s have this constant desire that the kingdom of God may be extended, and the zeal to work with all our might at it so that, having obtained the kingdom of God on earth, we may go to enjoy it in heaven. Let’s keep this lamp always lit in our hearts. 
- St. Vincent de Paul

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How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.

* Contains affiliate links.  No, that doesn't mean that the kids should leave the room.  Rather, it means that if you click on a link, and if you purchase something, I may get some financial remuneration for that click and buy.  All that means is that my kids will finally get to eat, just kidding but I may get something, just so you know...

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