This year, she decided she had outgrown that Bible.
"I need a new Bible, Mom."
"What's wrong with your Bible?"
"I want a 'Holy' one, not the 'Adventure' one."
I hope she understood my huge smile and suppressed laughter to be joy at her interest in reading God's Word. As I repeated the story often, I realized that most of us really want our relationship with God to be like that.
I dearly love my worship times — worship in the Sunday morning assembly, with my family of believers, praising and worshiping together as well as worship alone with my Bible and my God as I recount all of the ways He has blessed me. I do love the Holy moments with God.
I could really do without all the adventures — the adventure of dangling on a ledge wondering if the Lord will rescue me, the adventure of careening into blackness wondering how much further I could possibly fall, the adventure of being alone in a crowd of people that don't understand why I possibly worship a God that demands so much of me.
However, experience tells me I can't REALLY have one without the other. A safe, blissful faith is a faith unchallenged and unchanged. My own adventures on my faith walk have shown me that they aren't just for adventures' sake — not at all like a crazy roller coaster ride where you just end up back where you started, only a little shaken. No, adventures at the foot of His throne are Holy adventures, stretching, molding, and forming me into His more perfect instrument, while constantly reminding me of His faithfulness through it all.
In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul recounts some grand adventures he experienced:
Five different times the Jews gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled many weary miles. I have faced danger from flooded rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the stormy seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be Christians but are not. I have lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty and have gone without food. Often I have shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. (2 Corinthians 11:24-27 NLT)
What do you think that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:16-30) thought as they marched up to the furnace while the soldiers around them were dropping dead from the heat? I'm sure they thought that wasn't exactly the adventure they had in mind when they awoke that morning. Can you imagine Daniel's thoughts as he was led to the lion's den? (Daniel 6:10-28) Daniel could probably have done without quite so much adventure himself. Yet his testimony of faith rings true with both the holy and the adventure! "Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of hurt was found upon him, because he had trusted in his God." (Daniel 6:23 RSV)
So, when I want to say to God, as my precious daughter said to me, "I want the holy life, not the adventure life!" He will gently reply, "Child, the holiness is IN the adventure. Trust in Me. I promise you the adventure of a lifetime!"