A few years back there was a coffee table book called the “Book of Magic Pictures” which enjoyed a brief spate of popularity. As you may recall the “pictures” looked like random shapes or patterns, until you looked at them just right. Then, all of the sudden, a three dimensional image would emerge from the chaos. It had always been there, but until you “learned” to view the seemingly meaningless patterns with the proper eye, the picture was lost in the mess.
Trying to explain the Grand Adventure is like that. Unless you’ve learned to look at life just right, the Grand Adventure will be lost on you. It’s there, hidden amidst the clutter of daily living; but it takes a certain eye to be able to see it and to participate in it.
To begin with no one is capable of seeing or living the Grand Adventure on his own. It requires an illumination that only the Hero of the Adventure can provide. And that means that you must first admit you’re inability to see and participate in the Grand Adventure due to your failure to satisfy the demands of the Most High. Once you’ve done that and thrown in your lot with the Hero – then the fun begins.
I’ll admit, those “magic pictures” had me stumped. Try as I might, I could not see what everyone else saw. And when you first jump into the flow of the Adventure, you may very well find yourself stuck in the mud, unable to appreciate the “grand” aspect of the Adventure. Don’t worry. It takes time. But if you press hard after the Hero, the day will come when you can say that you actually take pleasure in all aspects of the Adventure. You see, the Adventure isn’t all sweetness and light. Indeed, the outstanding quality of the Grand Adventure is that you come to live in a realm where you’re able to actually say that you take pleasure in weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and all sorts of difficulties. Why? Because you come to see what is really there in the midst of the turmoil. And what is there is the Hero, laboring right along side of you – bringing meaning and purpose to every little detail of your life. Good and bad, well-being and calamity – everything finds meaning and purpose in the Grand Adventure. This is what Paul the Apostle said. True, Paul was immersed in the flow of the Adventure to a degree that none of us will probably ever be. Nevertheless, he shared this view of reality with us as an example we could attain.
I want to be honest with you. I don’t live in this unseen realm all the time. There have been times when I’ve spent months living on the outside of the magic picture, obsessed with making sense of the chaos on my own. Believe me, it can’t be done. You can fool yourself into believing that life apart from the Hero has meaning and purpose. You’ll hide your confusion and fear behind any number of facades; but deep down you know that you’re living a lie. Deep down you yearn for the confidence and rest that comes from being part of the Hero’s family, His tribe. And that brings us back to the first article in this series; the place to find out about the Hero and His Grand Adventure is among others who are trying to make sense of the magic picture too.