Each morning as I leave my home for a sunrise walk, I say to myself in tones low enough not to awaken my neighbors, “This is the day that God has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Then, I ask God, “What new possibilities will come my way today? Let me be ready for the adventure ahead.” Surely this same question and affirmation reflects the spirituality of the New Year. We know that we need transformation as persons and planetary citizens. Only new possibilities and the energy and commitment to act on them can bring us wholeness and reconciliation.
Would it be possible for you to affirm for the year ahead: “This is the year that God has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Are you able to begin this year with the question, “What new possibilities will come my way? Let me be ready for the adventure of a new year.”
In the next two months, we will be going on an adventure of body, mind, spirit, and relationships, based on my book, Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living. I penned this book originally to provide a theological and spiritual alternative to Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. While there is much good in Warren’s book, many readers are troubled that Warren’s image of God leaves no room for freedom and creativity; they also challenge his vision of God as the source of traumatic and life-shattering events to test and grow our faith. They’ve told me that they need a 41st day to symbolize that the world is open-ended and that God delights in our creativity and wants us to color outside the lines. They want a vision of God and the world that affirms that we can be the artists and creators of our own lives.
When my son was a young boy, the two of us delighted in reading a series of books, entitled “Choose Your Own Adventure.” At each turn of the page, the readers were invited to make decisions that would change the course of the characters’ lives. One choice would lead to a dungeon, the other to a treasure. Early on, my son learned that he could make decisions that would shape his life. The important events of his life were not settled by God, genes, or family of origin, but could be shaped in part by his choices. He could choose his own adventure amid the realities of his environment, health condition, and social situation. He learned that while he was not omnipotent, neither was he impotent. In the spirit of psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor Victor Frankl, the two of us learned that they could everything away from a person except the ability to choose her or his attitude and way of responding to life’s circumstances. We could choose moment by moment our attitude toward what we could not change and be part of a larger holy adventure in which small choices could lead to great adventures.
I believe that God is the Holy Adventure who invites us to be creative, loving, artistic, and adventurous. God’s creativity births galaxies, little babies, and the human imagination. God says to each person, “surprise me, do something I hadn’t completely anticipated.” God wants you to be a partner in choosing your own adventure for yourself and for our planet.
In the coming year, we are on the edge of a holy adventure. We can enter the year with dread or hope, or with fear or love. In the year ahead, I invite you to face life’s challenges with the spirit of adventure. Each day over the next eight weeks, I will present an affirmation – a short statement describing the deeper realities of our lives and invite you to live with this affirmation throughout the day. I will invite you to write or say your affirmation over and over throughout the day, especially when you are losing heart or falling into old habits of thought and behavior. Let your affirmation be the lens through which you interpret and respond to the events of each day. Let your affirmation shape your decisions and awaken new creativity for a new year. Living by these affirmations will heal and transform your life. Choose your own adventure!
To order Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living –