Tuesday, February 23, 2016

let's be adventurous



Yesterday we packed up some snacks and drove to the Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. We've been studying WW2, and wanted to put some skin on the stories. The museum didn't disappoint.

As we entered, a grey-haired man in a museum vest looked my kids and said, "I'm so glad you came today. This place is here for you." Then he looked at me and Morgan and thanked us for bringing them to see the display.

He treated us like heroes for driving in from Austin. But I knew what he meant. He wanted the story of his generation to be told and understood by the next generation. Someday it will be their job to carry the weight of what their great-grandparents survived.

We read about the politics of America, China, and Japan leading into the war. We saw tanks and guns and yellow telegrams expressing the deepest kind of regret. We went through rooms explaining the individual battles. War is terrible, and yet, we can never know what the world would be like if that generation hadn't suffered and sacrificed like they did.

I was simultaneously struck with a hope that my life could accomplish something meaningful, and the desire to become Amish and forget that the world is so full of conflict.

Then I noticed my daughter was falling asleep on the museum floor, so I decided to take her across the street to a cute shop we saw on our way in. I bought a dress because it was on sale and it was very adventurous for me in bright pinks and mustard yellow. My preferred palette is usually black and grey- you can take the girl out of LA but you can't take LA out of the girl. Also, I hate standing out. It makes me nervous.

But I needed something adventurous to wear to a marriage retreat this weekend. We're going to gather with a few hundred of our favorite married people and learn about adventure in marriage.

Adventure is not easy for me. The dress helps.

It takes a great deal of internal pep talking for me to get excited about adventures. And I'm pretty sure I lack the proper traveling clothes. I think I need the ones in the Sky magazine on the plane. Those black silky dresses are never supposed to wrinkle or get dirty in any way. How do they do that, by the way? Those dresses are like a suit of armor that can never be ruined, even on the longest flight with small children who dump goldfish and cranberry juice all over you when the turbulence hits record highs.

But this weekend, I just need something that says, "Let's do something daring!" because my heart will be saying, "Let's stay home and read a book!" The right clothes help stoke the fire within me to slay the dragon, triumph on a grand quest, step into faraway and mysterious lands, or take on life's greatest adventure: making a meaningful life with the person you promised to love forever (even when they drive you crazy).

This marriage adventure is a doozy. It's challenging to do it well. Especially if you're not a natural adventurer.

I'm typically more of a You've Got Mail kind of girl. I'll stretch my comfort zone and watch Sliding Doors occasionally. I like to read Emily Bronte, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Jane Austen- not exactly authors who penned adventures of grand scope. I do enjoy Alan Bradley, though, even if Flavia's daring acts do give me anxiety attacks. Maybe there's hope for me after all.

Deep down in our souls, in the place that heroic love springs forth to baptize us with its refreshing waters, we are so brave. On the shores of that Soul Kingdom, we can be like the Greatest Generation. We can do the impossible, endure the sacrifice, win the battle, and hope to build a better world.

Because there's One who was the Greatest of All Generations, and He is cheering us on. He is clothed in shining garments and when we drink of His cup, we are never thirsty again. He weeps at what the terrors of war have done to the people of the world. He has clothed us in garments of righteousness that can never wrinkle or stain or fade. He stands at the end of time, when all the pain and suffering that selfishness and cruelty have brought upon us will be swallowed up in Perfect Love forever.

The truth is, our greatest adventure is Jesus himself. May we make Him glorious with every movement of our being.

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