An Introduction

Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of a man.[1]

Men have lost touch with their calling. Adventure has become something that we watch movies about. Or, if we are really feeling it, we might read about.

More often, adventure has been reserved for characters that we can control.  Role-playing games, like World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, have mortally wounded the pursuit of real life adventure, especially for the college student in the 21st Century.

It is fear that keeps man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control.[2]

Don’t get me wrong, there is an argument for the inherent goodness of video games.

Well, there probably is.

It seems that the rise in video gaming has created an imaginary fulfillment in man’s desire for adventure and has led to the development of only superficial life memories.

A tirade against video gaming is no good for anyone, though. It simply converts the converted and enrages the opposed. Either way, blogging is a rather cowardly way to protest something.

The potential transformative power of studying men who took adventures is much greater than the potential transformative power of research about the negative effects of the Nintendo 64.

That is the road I am taking, and I believe it is, as Robert Frost said, the road less travelled by. In reality, stepping onto the road less travelled by is the seed of adventure.

Atticus Finch. James Braddock. Nehemiah. Teddy Roosevelt. Indiana Jones.

These men were adventurers. Two are fictional. Three are as real as real gets. They understood that men have an adventurous longing that can never be fulfilled, but nonetheless it must be pursued.  They took the road less travelled by and refused to live dead lives of quiet desperation, which Thoreau wrote about at Walden Pond.

Eve was created within the lush beauty of Eden’s garden. But Adam, if you’ll remember was created outside the garden, in the wilderness…Man was born in the outback, from the untamed part of creation…and ever since then, boys have never been at home indoors, and men have had an insatiable longing for adventure.[3]

As William Wallace said in the movie Braveheart:

Every man dies, not every man really lives.

The five biographies on this blog show that the moments that these men felt most alive was when they were pursuing adventure—in the face of death, beat down by the world.

John Eldredge quoted Gil Bailie as saying:

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because the world needs people who come alive.[4]

What makes you come alive?

Don’t pick adventures that you know you know you can handle and battles that you are sure you can win. That’s called faking your way through life, not feeling alive.[5] Unfortunately, I do it all the time.

Even if you don’t have the time to read all five biographies, read a few. Then go outside.

Let this blog inspire you to find your adventures and create lasting stories.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you.

[1] John Eldredge, Wild at Heart, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 5.

[2] Eldredge, 5.

[3] Eldredge, 4.

[4] Eldredge, 200.

[5] Eldredge, 53.

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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Uncategorized