There was this girl who found the first COVID-19 lockdown a relief. She was battling a great and unexpected grief. It made her zone out during conversations with friends. Long journeys made her sick with stress. The unknowns of life had her petrified.
So it was good to be able to hide away with no excuses. For a while she just held onto her familiar people and places. In their safety she struggled, cried, and went on with everyday tasks. And she began to feel better.
“A ship is safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
-John G Shed
If we’re all like ships in some ways, then maybe there are times we need to be in a safe harbour. We need peace, and care, until we’re seaworthy again and ready for a voyage.
This girl wasn’t 100%, but she was stronger, and she’d learnt some things. It was time to move outwards. It was time to find adventure.
Physical journeys might be out of the question for a while. She didn’t flout rules, laws or pandemic restrictions. But adventure can be as simple as stepping off our well-trodden paths.
She was ready … but the anxious thoughts weren’t gone. Bad things could happen. She knew this first-hand now. And there was so much to do at home, and it was easier to stay where she was…
- But then she looked ahead.
By chance or not, she was re-reading Anne of the Island by L M Montgomery. She’d forgotten Anne’s chronically indecisive friend Phil. An excited tickle built inside her as she came to the end of Phil’s story. It wasn’t for the happy ending or the sated romantic yearning. It was for what Phil learnt.
Do what you’ll wish you’d done when you were eighty.
This girl knew she had to stop wasting the time she’d been given.
- And then she started to feel uncomfortable with comfort.
She was surrounded by places and people she loved, but life was getting stale. Everything was too familiar.
“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
– Terry Pratchett
If she went out, she’d return with her lungs full of fresh air, and her eyes sharpened by different sights. Maybe she’d appreciate what she loved more than before.
- And then she prayed.
She knew she was never alone. Giving up her worries to God freed her to go where he wanted her to go, without fear.
“If this girl rises on the wings of the dawn, if she settles on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide her, your right hand will hold her fast.”
– Psalm 139:9 NIV (adapted)
So instead of sitting on the couch reading a book she knew off by heart, she worked in the garden. Instead of staying inside where it was peaceful, predictable and warm, she put on a jacket and boots and went down to the lake to photograph birds. She read new books. She made contact with people. She polished up her old flying machine ready for the day she could take long journeys again. It wasn’t easy, but it was good.
Some people jump into adventure feet-first, no fear. Others take careful, timid steps, one at a time. Whoever you are, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me or comment below if you have any thoughts on choosing adventure over comfort.