Monday, June 27, 2011


Imagine stumbling upon the following ad in your local newspaper:

For hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.

This recruitment letter would stir absolutely nothing in me to pique my interest or make me look twice. However, when Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton placed this simple "help wanted sign" in his local paper in 1914, he received over 5000 responses! When I recently read about this story, it really amazed me. I could not understand the lure of this call. Adventure and intrigue and challenge come in all shapes and sizes, places and situations. Why would relentless and dangerous trudging through the frozen wastelands of the snowpack arouse the dreams and passions of so many folks?

After thinking about this for a bit, it kind of made me draw some parallels to my life as a Christian. A typical journey for a Christ follower is, in some ways, a treacherous and risky adventure. A path with no certainty of success, based upon the nebulous and tenuous notions of faith and trust and personal experience. The path that we follow causes many outside observers to judge us with a complete lack of understanding. How can we dedicate our one, brief life here on Earth to follow the writings of some folks who lived millennia ago during a pre-enlightened age of rampant polytheism and long-held superstitions? Long periods of darkness and danger are part of our paths. Safe return of some doubt, but oh the glory if we should be successful.