Welcome, dear friends, to the last installment of this crazy summer adventure.
I went rock climbing, travelled to (not-so-) distant lands, wrote many (but not enough) pieces to an epic yet confusing tale, became extremely frustrated with myself, tried to get into shape, interviewed a rockstar, watched old movies, became a Whovian, became confused and depressed (not related to the previous), found peace, played Magic, planned another story, started dating a wonderful girl, jumped off a bridge, got scared (and teased), stayed up way too late, procrastinated, stressed about life, fell in love, and moved to Alabama, away from everyone I know and everything in which I find comfort.
And all of this I have related to you, poor, wonderful creatures, in 94 posts over the past 108 nights.
Now it’s time to close this door. Post 95 (one of my favorite numbers). Day 108. Here goes.
The Greatest Adventure
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
“Adventure!” the heart of a boy cries ceaselessly. Any male human being that denies ever having that urge is lying to himself. Of course, not all of us operate with the same definition of ‘adventure’—sailing with pirates or going on top-secret, world-saving missions, for example. Your definition of adventure is probably far better grounded in reality than my own. But those definitions still have at least this one thing in common: they are adventures.
I am an adventurer. Self-proclaimed, maybe, but still one at heart. As a child (I think I still am a child, at least in some ways), I was almost always pretending. My imagination was allowed, even—dare I say it?—encouraged to soar above the difficulties of reality, transforming even the most boring situations into escapades full of peril and conspiracy. And action. I never had an adventure, real or make-believe, that did not include a healthy dose of combat, however I could make it fit into the story. Rides to church could be patrols in a submarine or the USS Enterprise (the one from Star Trek), and even trips to the grocery store with my friends turned into (and some still do) snatch and grab missions as SEALS, the SWAT team, or, just to practice our skills, as ninjas.
One of the best adventures happened one night several years ago, when five of my best friends and I were camping in my front yard. After waiting for the dark, we split into two teams. One team sat around the campfire and guarded the camp, scanning the surrounding area with flashlights; the other team assaulted the camp, using stealth and the shadows as their allies. I can remember being on the attacking team and feeling the adrenaline pump through my veins as I lay on my belly in a slight indention of the ground, waiting for the camp’s searchlights to move on past me. I knew my greatest ally was remaining motionless as the light passed over me. In this game, the trick was to keep oneself silent and invisible. If one botched either of these, one’s attacking attempt would be doomed to failure. So I stayed there, letting the fresh dew soak through my jeans, shirt, and gloves, and having the time of my life.
The quote in my epigraph was spoken to Frodo Baggins, my personal favorite of hobbit heroes, by his uncle, Bilbo Baggins, in J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic series. Bilbo was, at this point, already a seasoned adventurer, having journeyed across Middle Earth in the company of quite a few stalwart dwarves and one wise, old, and peculiar (all of which are standard wizard adjectives) wizard. Since Bilbo was such a veteran traveler, I believe we would do well to take his knowledgeable advice to heart. “Take it to heart,” you say. “Well, then, what does it mean?” It means when you make a decision to forsake the comfort of your home and the things you know to follow your own adventure, you will not return as the same person you were when you left. The road of life’s grand journey is not a place for the weak at heart, but every man has a job to do, and if he can pull himself together and keep his feet when he stumbles, he will succeed in his quest.
As I write this, I keep hearing a line from the movie UP in my head: “Adventure is out there!” the boy shouts as he runs around with his toy airplane. And he’s right. Adventure is out there. It’s waiting for us, calling to us. The God of creation, the One who knows our hearts, has filled each of us with a longing for his or her own special quest fraught with excitement, danger, and the unknown. In the end, then, we must seek out His will for our lives and take that first step out our door, remembering to keep our feet and stick to the task as we follow the desires He has placed in us. That is the greatest adventure.
I sincerely hope you feel like I haven’t wasted your summer by binding myself with this contract to tell the world about my own.
I can honestly say I met all of my (realistic) expectations that I laid out in “Day -1.” Didn’t do so well with the things I had hoped to accomplish, though. But that’s life. It’s an adventure.
A worthwhile adventure. Don’t let it go to waste.
Once again, thank you for being here and supporting me with all your reads, likes, and follows.
And don’t forget to check out my new blog, auburn adventures.
Goodnight and God bless,