I woke up to a new reality today. Nothing earth shattering. Nothing that will make headline news. Just a certain awareness and an inescapable readiness to choose to enter the wardrobe and see what lies beyond… to choose the red pill. What is it that awaits? An adventure beyond my wildest imagination.
I love stories. As a child, I used to read those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen if I chose one option over the other. As a computer programmer by trade, my earliest memories was of writing a Quick Basic “Choose Your Own Adventure” style program on a Mattel Aquarius computer. Movies always affect me too. The Narnia books are a great example (if you haven’t read them all, I HIGHLY recommend it). As Lucy stands before the wardrobe doors and decides to enter in, she is entering in to the adventure that awaits her. I was stunned after I saw The Matrix back in 1999. Watching Thomas Anderson (played by Keanu Reeves) come to a sudden awareness that the world is not as it seems, and there is more going on than he ever realized (but that he always suspected). And suddenly Thomas Anderson gets a new name: Neo. So many powerful stories happening that spoke to me in my own personal and spiritual journey. It awakened curiosity and desire in me to seek truth… to do great things. And yet…
So often, I choose to close the wardrobe doors. I choose the blue pill, remaining in the blissful ignorance of the illusion of my life of comfort as I go about my life. I imagine what comes if I choose the life of adventure, and my heart begins to sink. I imagine all the past failures, the obstacles that await me, all the worst fears it awakens in my heart, and I simply turn away. In The Matrix, Morpheus, the underground resistance leader who offers Neo the choice of facing reality or remaining blissfully ignorant says:
You have to understand that many people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
That’s me! I don’t just choose, but I fight to protect my blissful ignorance. Sometimes by escaping to my closest habitual comforts. Sometimes by burying myself in work or some other important, but ultimately not eternity-changing, tasks.
And then there are days where I REALLY want adventure. I get caught up in the intoxicating feeling of thinking about what the adventure will bring. And I start thinking about what I need to do to bring that adventure to reality in my life.
Neither approach is the path I believe God has carved out for me. I was thinking about this as I read an excerpt of John Eldredge’s The Sacred Romance (emphasis mine):
We are faced with a decision that grows with urgency each passing day: Will we leave our small stories behind and venture forth to follow our Beloved into the Sacred Romance? The choice to become a pilgrim of the heart can happen any day and we can begin our journey from any place. We are here, the time is now, and the Romance is always unfolding. The choice before us is not to make it happen. As G.K. Chesterton said, “An adventure is, by its nature, a thing that comes to us. It is a thing that chooses us, not a thing that we choose.” Lucy wasn’t looking for Narnia when she found it on the other side of the wardrobe; in a way, it found her. Abraham wasn’t wandering about looking for the one true God; he showed up with an extraordinary invitation. But having had their encounters, both could have chosen otherwise. Lucy could have shut the wardrobe door and never mentioned what had happened there. Abraham could have opted for life in Haran. The choice before us is a choice to enter in.
Today, I am going to choose the life of adventure that God has planned for me, and accept those challenges and difficulties that come as part of that as the training God needs me to go through to continue. This is difficult. I have to fight to take back that which has held sway over my heart for so long. I have to fight to see the greater reality of the desire of my heart to pursue God and His adventure in my life. What will you choose today?