Hi, Rob here.
Recently my kids have become obsessed with a TV show called ‘American Ninja Warriors.’ In it some very seriously fit and athletic men tackle an extremely difficult obstacle course that tests balance, upper and lower body strength, endurance and technique. My son Jake (about to turn 8), in particular, has been inspired by these athletes and now regularly tests himself on the playground, our rotary washing line, our couches … and you get the picture. He wants to be faster, stronger and more heroic. While it’s nerve wracking for his parents we know that this is an essential part of his growing-up process. He’s in the very early stages of exploring the deeper question that John Eldredge suggests all men ask; “Have I got what it takes?” Pursuing adventure is a key aspect of getting this question answered, and as his Dad I will help him do that. God our Father wants to do this for us also.
On our USA trip the guys from Ransomed Heart took us out rock climbing in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. I had never done this before. I hadn’t even been to a climbing wall. Alex coached us brilliantly and I was able to make it up to the top point. I was exhilarated coming back down having done something new and conquered the challenge. If I get the opportunity to go rock climbing again I will feel confident, not anxious. God wants us to trust him but to help us do that we have to face situations where we have no option except to trust him! Just as I had to trust Alex for the gear, the moves and the next step, God asks us to trust him as we face obstacles and challenges in this life.
Of course I’m not just talking about rock climbing or travelling or bungee jumping. I’m talking about asking a girl out, doing your first job, coming home with your first-born, facing up to past wounds, forgiving others and so on. Life is made up of challenges and choices; moments whereby God invites us to be Fathered by him, coached by him into living life the way Jesus would live it if he were us (to paraphrase Dallas Willard). That is, lived in close intimacy with the Father and led by the Holy Spirit. When we learn that, in relationship with God, we have what it takes then we can live life confidently and with peace in our inner being. When things don’t go well we can take refuge in the fact that it’s not a judgment on us. We are beloved children of a good Father and mishaps and misdeeds can’t nullify that. When that’s at the core of who we are our lives become filled with the ability to love, hope and pray in all circumstances. I know I want that and I’m pretty sure you do too.
Jake’s confidence as he pursues adventure is inspiring me to pursue adventure too. The USA trip was part of that as is doing my Masters. It’s also taking my children on little adventures (my 6 year old daughter Jaz loves adventures too!) and trying to hear their hearts. It’s entering into Kiley’s life and hearing her heart and fighting for it. I still have much to learn but my Father is showing me day by day that in Christ I have what it takes. You do too!