Time for the last post in our “Life Lessons from the Ocean” series.
If you missed the first four check them out here: Be Present…Adapt…Perseverance…Community. The ocean and surfing has been a great teacher in my life and I have found that God can use our normal lives to teach and encourage us. I encourage you to “listen to your life,” (as Frederick Buechner says) and pay attention to your rhythms and routines and places of joys and challenges to see what your life is trying to teach you.
Lesson 5: Choose Adventure.
I am passionate about adventure. Once in an interview I was asked about the top three things I would hope my life would teach others, my three truths, and one of the three was to choose adventure. The ocean has been a key outlet for adventure in my life for as long as I can remember. From the changing ocean conditions, to the search for the best waves, to the travel and competitions, part of the joy of surfing for me is that it is a sport and activity FULL of adventure…if you choose it. The thing about adventure is that it is usually a choice. The ocean certainly doesn’t always look inviting, and there is often risk involved, but the reward in going for it is almost certainly worth it. As one very adventurous woman once said, “Adventure is worthwhile in itself” (Amelia Earhart). That is so true! Even if I don’t land a trick or finish a wave clean or win a competition, the adventure of trying is its own reward.
The lessons I’ve learned from choosing adventure in the ocean applies directly to other areas of life as well. Whether it is a professional adventure, or a relational adventure (like marriage, or motherhood), I have found that choosing adventure is life-giving, helps develop me as a person, and usually packs a punch of JOY. Life can certainly be lived in a cozy and safe way (and there are definitely times for that), but positive change, momentum, and the biggest rewards usually come from being willing to try and choosing a path of adventure.
Perhaps you need a nudge today to choose adventure in your life. Whether it is a decision in your personal, professional, academic, physical, or spiritual life…or just actual outdoor fun and adventure… I want to cheer you on to take the path of adventure (of course with thoughtfulness). Just like I trust my training and knowledge of the ocean when taking risks in the water, you can trust your experience, your faith, your preparation and take a jump into the unknown, or choose the path that seems more challenging. You can choose adventure in big and small ways every day. Remember, as I like to say…
You don’t need easy, you just need possible.
One more quote from another adventurous woman. As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Be adventurous today!