Wasteland Kings

On Saturday, I made it home from another great adventure. Over the last couple of weeks, I went to Switzerland and Portugal with an old friend of mine. This wasn’t like my adventure in Ethiopia, but God worked through it all the same and brought some things to light. 

As I sit at my computer and try to sort through it all, I am struggling to come up with a single theme or primary truth I gained from the trip. Nothing comes to mind. This result may come from the variety of my experiences. 

While in Ethiopia, my experiences focused on times of evangelism, worship, and fellowship. There was no focus on this adventure and it might be better to call it a collection of little adventures. Some of them came from having a good conversation with a stranger while others came from visiting a castle; which was awesome by the way. 

While these adventures didn’t have many common threads, they all brought to the light the same truth again and again. I don’t see the world and my life in the right eyes. I tend to see both of them through the eyes of performance, fear, or consumption. I need to see them through the eyes of adventure.

The overlook called Harder Kulm in Interlaken, Switzerland

The overlook called Harder Kulm in Interlaken, Switzerland

Over the years, I’ve experienced how viewing something through the perspective of adventure has made important changes in me. For one, being on adventures tends to give me a better attitude about hardships and difficulties. I’ve slept on hard beds or small couches for less than the recommended amount of sleep and woken up with a smile on my face.

Back at home, I’ll get a little cold in my sleep and have a bad attitude for the entirety of the next morning.

Going on adventures gives me this different perspective because I’m adapting to my circumstances. If you dropped me onto a fishing vessel for a couple weeks, I’d probably have a perspective that looks a little more like a fisherman than a writer by the end of those two weeks. This happens when we immerse ourselves in something and soak it up into our hearts and bones.

When I get adventure into my bones, I see the incredible advantages in the perspective it gives me and the way it lifts my heart. Frustrations, discomforts, and annoyances become much easier to handle. The simplest and most trivial things take on a new beauty and already beautiful things stretch the meaning of grandeur to it’s limit.

I want to bring this perspective back from adventures with me and employ it in my daily life.

Can you imagine tackling your daily life with the ability to look past discomforts and brush off annoyances? For me, those things slowly build until they overcome my patience and ruin my attitude until something raises my spirits. Wouldn’t it be great if our lives weren’t defined by the roller coaster of little annoyances, pity parties, and little comforts?

This change in perspective may sound impossible or even silly. It would sound that way to me if I hadn’t experienced a similar change in my perspective earlier in my life. I used to see life through the eyes of an addict and now I see through the eyes of a free man.

This wasn’t a small change.

Some times in the past, I saw activities as something I would do until I looked at porn. Time spent with friends might involve being a little mentally checked out because my brain was already thinking about the porn I would look at later. Part of me would mourn and grieve at this but it wasn’t in control; the addiction and my flesh were in control.

I used to see women as objects and not just the ones on the computer screen. Even when it came to women I cared about, my mind would pull me towards seeing them as a means to an end and not a person. Thanks to God’s grace, this perspective of darkness never led me to making any mistakes with those women.

There was a dramatic difference when I experienced freedom and began to see everything through the eyes of freedom. Now, I can get the full enjoyment from spending time with friends and family. Furthermore, the pull to objectify women is much weaker and overcome with much greater ease.

Seeing with the eyes of freedom is one of the greatest blessings in my life. The eyes of adventure carry the hope for an even greater blessing. Reaching out for them is the next step in my journey. I’m unsure what that step will look like or if it will entail a thousand steps; it’s probably important that I don’t know.

Do you have a different perspective or attitude while on an adventure? When was the last time you went on one? How would your actions or the way you interact with others change if you saw with the eyes of adventure?

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The Helping Hands of God
The Crescendo of Creation

Matthew Rial

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