My good friend Karrie has spent her month of October talking about adventure. She should talk about it…she is the most adventurous person I know. In all her sky-diving, hang gliding, roller coastering glory she is all adventure. All the things I never thought I could be (or was scared to be). So you have to imagine my internal “giggle” when she asked me to contribute to her adventure talk.
I don’t think of myself as being adventurous. I prefer the straight and narrow. The calculated. The planned. The 1 + 1 = 2 kind of life. But you see, life doesn’t always follow the equation. Life doesn’t like rules. Rules have a way of constantly putting “failure” at the end of the = sign NO MATTER how hard you try to make it all add up. Enough with rules.
That’s my adventure. Rules have had me in handcuffs since I was a little girl telling me what to do, what not to do, what to eat, how to look, and who to be. You can imagine my initial dismay when I realized that I actually hated the very standards that I let control me for so long. First dismay…then understanding…then a rule hating, rule breaking, rule killing adventure.
I hate wanting to follow rules, but not being able to.
I hate the feeling of failure that rules bring.
I hate imagining that there are “rule makers” out there that sit together formulating standards that will bring in more money to their products and make us all live thinking that there are always…more…ways…we…can…be…better.
I soon remembered that Jesus hated rules too, so I began to feel even better about my “unrulyness.”
In response to rule-makers Jesus said:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Matthew 23:25-26
So what does a rule boycotting adventure look like? Here it goes, here’s to quit trying to clean the outside of the cup:
“In order to keep a healthy diet you should only consume 2000 calories a day.” Nah. Somedays less, somedays more, but all days in freedom. Not freedom to eat more food…freedom from the bondage of food’s hold on my life in the form of a never keep trackable always failable number.
“You have to work out 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise to maintain a healthy body.” My mind kept a checklist for over two decades of that dumb 3 day ideal, so I ditched it. To the days of 30 minute exercise I say begone! I said “goodbye” to the rule and “hello” to my body…sometimes it wants to rest. Sometimes it wants to run. Sometimes it wants to attempt to do a dead lift and throw out my back. Either way, my body is in charge now.
“In order to make sure you are dressed modestly your shirt straps should be at least three fingers wide and loose enough to roll a tennis ball freely down your shirt.” No…I did not make this up. I am all for modesty. In fact I believe that you can even minister to people through what you choose to wear (more on that another day.) But these modesty rules took away true heart change and rammed shame down my throat. So I ditched those too.
“You should never let your children watch more than 60 minutes of television a day.” So what did I do on the days I failed at yet another rule…stamped “bad mom” on my forehead of course. Nevermind that! I threw this one out the window too.
The old, non-adventurous me would feel the need to explain to you that of course I still believe in taking good care of my body, and of course you should take time to think about modest dress, and “yes” I do agree with not plopping your kids in front of the TV for extended hours, days at a time. But, that’s the old me.
The new adventure lovin’ me says unabashedly that I hate these rules and if you ever catch me trying to live up to the rule instead of the Ruler Of It All again…you have my permission to slap me. Yes Karrie, I said you can slap me.
What is YOUR adventure?