There were so many life lessons that came from my nine-hour climb to the top of Maderas; I needed to break it down into two posts.
In my last post, I covered how God is a master of beauty from ashes, focusing on one step at a time, and the need to challenge yourself. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I would highly recommend you take five minutes and skim through it.
Below is a continued list of lessons I realized during my nine-hour hike to the summit and back.
The Need for Fun and Adventure
We are hard-wired for adventure. Think about the environment that God chose to place Adam and Eve. Quite literally everything was unknown when they first began life. God put them in an unestablished, wild garden. Every day was an adventure. Unfortunately, we have slowly drifted away from that core aspect of life. We find a need to control each step, but in doing so, we slowly begin to “die inside.” Why? Because we have removed all sense of adventure.
When we choose to branch out of our norm, it ignites a passion for life. Some personalities gravitate toward risk, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m referring to a willingness to intentionally go outside of our day-to-day lives and experience something new. It could be as simple as taking a new route home from work, planning a weekend getaway to a city you’ve never been before, or even trying a new meal on the menu of your favorite restaurant. Be willing to try something new and create an opportunity to broaden your life experiences.
The Ability to Connect with God Through Nature.
Everyone has their own unique way of connecting with God. For me, it’s being in nature. It’s where I turn when it seems hard to hear His voice or when I feel stuck. I could write an entire post just on this point (and I might), but for now, I’ll keep it brief. Getting out in nature allows you to feel His presence in the breeze and His creativity in everything from the sunset to the smallest flower. It forces you to get off the couch and change your environment. Some of you may realize there’s an entire aspect of God’s goodness just waiting for you to move your secret place outdoors.
Physical Fitness Fine Tunes your Spiritual Ears
When you are physically active, it opens up your ability to hear the Still Small Voice. It’s not that you have to run a marathon to hear God’s whisper. The connection is actually much more simple than that. Let’s just take one area of your body, the brain. When you work out, it causes your body to increase blood flow to the brain, which in turn makes you more alert and focused. How does this connect to your ability to hear God? Simple. When you become more alert and less lethargic, you’re able to identify more details in life. The things you would usually overlook are less likely to slip through the cracks. When you turn your attention to engaging with God, you’re able to see new subtle ways He is guiding your everyday life.
If you want to learn more about hearing God’s voice, I would highly recommend taking Havilah Cunnington’s eCourse, Prophetic Personalities. She breaks down ways of hearing God’s voice and encourages your ability to integrate it into your everyday life.
Creating Fun Memories Fuel the Soul and Set You Up For Success in Hard Times.
There’s no getting around the reality that we all encounter hard times in life. Some of those we can do something about, while others are beyond our control. That said, it’s important to create positive memories consistently. They will actually give you the strength that’s needed to persevere when life throws you a curve ball. It’s like filling a car’s gas tank one gallon at a time. You may not see the value of a single gallon, but consistently adding to the tank is what will keep you moving forward. When you fail to make “fun” priority is when you stop adding fuel to your tank… which in turn leads to burning out.
That completes the breakdown of life principles I gleaned from one aspect my Nicaragua adventure. Needless to say that getting out of the house, living life by design, and being active over passive has a long list of benefits!
Take time to write out a list of changes you want to see in your life. Don’t make them something so grandiose that you’ll never pursue it. At the same time, be aware of possible tendencies to make them small in an effort to protect from potential disappointment. That’s the easy part….. now TAKE ACTION. One simple step at a time towards something on your list will eventually create momentum. You may be surprised by how easy it is to enjoy life.