I took a group of my students camping and whitewater rafting this past weekend. It was an adventurous trip all around, and for several reasons. For starters, even though this was our third annual trip, I still have very limited camping experience. Second, I had never been whitewater rafting before. Third, as the wonderful people at the Nantahala Outdoor Center were kind enough to remind us several times, whitewater rafting is an inherently dangerous activity.
That phrase inherently dangerous gave me some pause. Not because I was particularly worried about my safety or the safety of those with me, but because I thought, “Hey, isn’t all of life inherently dangerous?” And it is, isn’t it?
Think about all the things out there that can cause us harm physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I haven’t read and studies or anything, but I’d be willing to bet that, statistically speaking, your chances of suffering one of these forms of harm are just as good sitting inside your house watching TV or talking on the phone as they are outside climbing a mountain or rafting down a river.
Why is it that we shy away from physical harm above all others? Scripture is pretty clear that our bodies are not as important as our spirit/soul/mind/psyche (Matt. 10:28, Rom. 8:10, 1 Cor. 15:42, a few others…). So why do we seek to prevent harm to our temporary body at the expense of our eternal mind/soul/spirit?
My encouragement to you is to go have an adventure. Do something a little bit dangerous. Push your envelope a bit. Try something new. The television will always be there when you get back, but my guess is that you won’t miss it very much while you’re on your adventure.