The Adventure

When our kids were young, Dave and I decided we were going to take them on an adventure to see Canada. The destination we chose was the Algonquin Provincial Park. It is located between the Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in Ontario, Canada. Established in 1893, it is the oldest provincial park in Canada. The park is about 2,955 square miles. Highway 60 runs through the south end of the park, while the Trans-Canada Highway bypasses it to the north.  That’s basically it for roads. It has over 2,400 lakes and 800 miles of streams and rivers located within the park.
There are three areas of back-country hiking trails, with sub-loops ranging from 3.7 to 54.7 miles long. These hiking trails have their own dedicated campsites, typically located on the shores of small lakes. 
Within the boundaries of the park, the following number of species are known to live: 53 species of mammals, 272 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles and amphibians, 54 species of fish, about 7000 species of insects, over 1000 species of plants, and over 1000 species of fungi. Animals that inhabit Algonquin include moose, black bears, white-tailed deer, Canada jays, beavers, red foxes, great grey owls, and the Eastern wolf.
Perfect. The Algonquin it was.
So, we gassed up the old Ford F150. We had a cap for the back so we bolted it on the best we could, loaded in a mattress, sleeping bags, some clothes, a small three-man tent, a six-foot inflatable red, white, and blue plastic boat, and some fishing poles. We planned to catch our food. The three kids rode in the back because it was just a regular cab so there wasn’t enough seats for everyone up front.
And off we went for a week in Canada.
We took off early. The trip up was long, just over 350 miles, but it went quite smoothly. The first thing we saw was a moose walking around in front of the Park office where we picked up our backcountry permit. Perfect. We had chosen the right place.
We drove another 40 miles to get to the trailhead. Bear, moose and other critters crossed the road in front of us. We slept in the back of the truck overnight at the trailhead and headed off first thing in the morning. Grabbing our stuff out of the back of the truck, we started into the forest. Our hike was around 10-12 miles to get to the lake where we would set up camp.
It was a significant hike back into the woods before we found the campsite. The trail wasn’t exactly cleared well. But we found our way. We had backpacked quite a bit so we knew how to keep on the path. We set up camp on the farthest end of the lake right on the water’s edge. It was beautiful.
I had brought a dozen hard boiled eggs with us on the trip so that’s what we had for dinner. That was it for the food.
The night was interesting. While it had been so quiet in the forest during the day, we kind of whispered to each other. Otherwise, it seemed like we were yelling.
The night not so much. At night, the forest came alive with all kinds of animals making a ruckus. We had slept outside plenty of times in the forest before but, I admit, the wolves howling on the hunt at night was a little startling at first.
The next morning our son, Paul, spent quite a while blowing up the boat so we could get out on the lake. Then Dave and the kids set out on the boat to catch breakfast. One of the kids dropped the oar in the water. Dave didn’t retrieve it right away and for some unpredictable reason it decided to sink to the bottom. Dave slipped out of the boat to dive for it. He came back up without it. He said it looked like he could just reach out and grab it but it was a lot farther down than he thought. After several attempts, he came up with it but he figured it had been about 20 feet or so down on the bottom.
With no noise pollution, so far from people, we could talk to each other no matter how far away he was on the boat. The lake was at least a mile across and yet we spoke to each other in a normal voice and could hear perfectly. That was different and kind of cool.
The other thing that was different, but not so cool, was that Dave said he could see all the way to the bottom of the lake. Not only was there no vegetation, but there was no fish in the lake. Actually, he said he saw about 12 three or four-inch fish in the entire mile wide lake. He caught a couple but he put them back. We decided it was the breeding stock and we shouldn’t take them out.
We had heard about acid rain but had never seen a lake basically dead because of it.
That presented a problem.
That meant I needed to forage for food. Every day I set out circling the camp for a mile or so. I was successful in finding enough berries each day for everyone to eat a handful or so. When I was looking for the berries I would always make enough noise to make sure I didn’t surprise another foraging critter who might be higher up on the food chain than I was.
We had a blast. The spring that we got our drinking water from had gold flecks swirling around in it which was interesting since there had been gold mining in the area. We followed moose trails to a surrounding lake and went swimming. That lake was crystal clear as well. No fish.
Moose trails are a little sketchy. Moose legs are very long so following one of their trails means you will be climbing over dead falls and other obstructions. Also, you need to jump to the side if you hear one coming towards you because a moose will run over the top of you. Bad eye sight they say.
At the end of the week, we hiked back out and started home. We were about 150 miles from home when the truck had a problem. We were on the King’s Highway. A universal burned out and we weren’t going any further. Dave had had an issue with the universals before we left and he had saved money by putting a used one in. It was a problem. We only had enough money for gas to get home. We didn’t have credit cards in those days.
We were broken down along a major highway where cars were going by at 100 miles an hour. If you have ever driven in Canada, you will know I am not exaggerating.
Well, my husband had a habit of never throwing anything away. When I was riding in the passenger seat my feet were propped on miscellaneous truck parts. I started digging through the assortment and wasn’t surprised at all to find several rejected used universals. As I uncovered more of his treasures, I found enough parts to find enough roller bearings to complete the little circle and applied as much of the cleanest grease as I could recover. All the while, Dave kept telling me I was wasting my time.
Not so. After a while I handed him the resurrected universal. It got us home.
God has called us to be bold adventurers.
He’s called us to face certain danger.
He’s called us to go on a mission. A mission to show this world exactly what Christianity is all about.
I remind you of the scripture we studied a few weeks ago. Jesus described us this way: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
If salt and light don’t fulfil their purpose, if they’re hidden away and not used, they are useless. That’s what Jesus was saying to us in the Sermon on the Mount. We’ve been called to fulfill a purpose.
We have a mission. We have a bold adventure set before us.
Ephesians 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
So, what is this that God has called us to do? What is the bold adventure He’s set before us?
1 Peter 3:8-13  Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
Max Lucado put it this way. “Do not be frightened. For all the noise fear makes and room it takes, fear does little good.
• Fear never wrote a symphony or poem,
• Fear never negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease.
• Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry.
• Fear never saved a marriage or a business.
Courage did that.
Faith did that.
Now God knows that must of us struggle with fear once in a while. But He repeatedly tells us “Do not be afraid”.
We can be bold adventurers because God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. All God wants of us is that we live our faith, and live it boldly.
This is a lifelong adventure with Christ. God’s great goal is to work in you and conform you into the image of Christ. Whether it’s in marriage, in singleness, at work, while volunteering, etc. God is going to do a mighty work. He’s going to work in you when life is going great. He is going to work in you when you’re going through trials. He is going to work in you when you make mistakes. If you are in Christ, you can be assured that He won’t give up on you. Some people grow slower than others, but one thing that you can be confident in is that if you are in Christ you will bear fruit.
AMEN.

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