I’ve recently been reflecting on one particular idol in my life, which I think a lot of people can relate to: the idol of adrenaline or “adventure”—the need for all things new, the drive to have an “exciting,” instagrammable life.
To put it another way, many of us have lost our fascination with the ordinary. Foundational to the idol of “adventure” is a deep craving for newness, creativity and significance.
We’re often afraid we’re missing out on something better—a better apartment, a better job, a better date.
This can breed a lifestyle of adrenaline where we hesitate to commit (because what if something better comes along?) and we don’t rest (because we might miss out on some fun opportunity!).
While being adventurous isn’t a bad thing, idolizing adventure can keep us focused on the short-term highs and make us struggle to patiently wait for what we desire long-term. In our pursuit of joy, it is essential that we distinguish between fleeting and lasting happiness, and the roads that lead us there.
We think the next new experience we have will make us feel significant instead of realizing that our true, ultimate, significance comes from God. In short, many of us have become experience junkies and are removed from places where God can meet us.
So how do we begin to break down the idol of adventure in our lives? I believe we can start by remembering the Sabbath.
Rest is an essential part of our existence. In rest, we let ourselves slow down, choosing to be content in the ordinary experiences of our daily lives—and to let go of the other, potentially more exciting things we could be doing instead. We allow our minds, bodies and spirits the ability to recover and prepare for what is next. When we slow down and rid ourselves of distractions, God can meet us and move us.
Finally, we need to remember that God is in everything, and in Him is true adventure. Revelation 21:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 both remind us that God is the ultimate newness that our earthly cravings point toward. If we choose to slow down and stop forcing adventure, we realize how God is orchestrating our environment for us in an exciting way so that we (His children) can know and enjoy Him (our father) more.
It is healthy and natural to get excited about new experiences, to be passionate about the way we live, and to live with enthusiasm. But when chasing the next big thing dominates our routines and choices, we are slowly giving control of our hearts and minds to the ways of the world. If we choose to turn down good things for better things, God will reveal Himself in ways we had previously not had time for Him to do so.
May God grant us all the patience and contentment to live faithfully in the ordinary moments, knowing He will make all extraordinary by His presence.