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Journal

Daily Adventures in Compassion

Mark Junkans

Have you ever started out on an "adventure" only to find that it wasn't all that enjoyable?  I have, in my short lifetime, done many things that were adventurous.  My surprise is that, when I tell the stories to people, they seem to focus more on the the hardship or the danger that was involved.  When I remember those things, I don't remember the danger, only the excitement of venturing into the unknown.

Ironically, some of my greatest adventures have come, not through extreme activities, but rather through responding to the needs of people I meet and being a channel of God's love and mercy.  Ok, I can tell that I've just lost you with that one.  Boring you might say?  As one easily bored, I can tell you that it's not.  Whether it be someone I run into on the street who needs help or some group of people, I have found that to follow Jesus' example is to experience new adventures every day.  How you might ask?

For example, imagine you are going about your day and pass by people on the street or in the store. The adventure starts when you begin to notice the person's needs and respond to them.  It could be as simple as helping a mother of small children carry bags to her car and it could be as courageous as giving someone a ride to where they have to go.  Being closed up in your own world all day might be the normal thing to do, but how adventurous is that?

The adventurous Christian life isn't about thrill seeking, but rather it's about persevering in doing God's will.  James 5:11 says "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

Being adventurous in your faith isn't about seeking extreme spiritual experiences, or going on mission trips to exotic places.  True and long-lasting adventure is asking the Holy Spirit to keep your eyes open to opportunities to show mercy and compassion and to share your faith.  Don't wait for opportunity to come to you, seek it out.  Jesus went from town to town proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is near.  Your adventure begins when you do the same wherever you go.  Proclaim loudly that "The Kingdom of God is near" with your words, your character, your actions and your good deeds for people.  Be adventurous in the way you show love and compassion to those that you meet.