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Center for Catholic Education at UD

Living the Adventure in the Everyday Ordinary

By Elena Niese

We often associate adventure solely with this definition: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks. Of course, this is a logical definition of the term, the first listed within Merriam-Webster; however, seeing adventure as only a hazardous endeavor disqualifies many of us from believing our life can be an adventure at all. Pope Saint John Paul II certainly did not mean to limit the term in this way when proclaiming that life with Christ, an invitation extended to each of us, is a wonderful adventure. Sure, the road towards the Christian life is fraught with many challenges and unknown risks, but it is also an exciting and remarkable experience unfolding not only in the big moments but in the little ones, too. This adventure that is holiness does not have to be reserved for opportunities of grandeur such as St. Joan of Arc who lead the French Army to victory during the Hundred Years War; holiness is also just as profound in living out the Little Way of Saint Therese: “miss[ing] no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”

Valerie Connor, a rising senior, knows this Little Way well. In asking her how she ‘lives the adventure’ in the everyday ordinary she responded with the following:

“My adventure with Christ starts with a 5:30 am early rise, a quick breakfast of oats, and then my twin and I are out the door and praying the Angelus as we pull out of the driveway. The majority of my day is then spent pulling weeds. While the work is repetitive, Jesus kindly interrupts with various unexpected gifts: a heavy downpour, a refreshing gust of wind, a coworker sneaking us cookies from the kitchen, or a sudden deep appreciation for the purple color of the roots. Through all of these little gifts, Jesus is constantly pulling me deeper into His Love and into the adventure of relationship with Him. When done for the Lord, a field of weeds is transformed into a field of flowers scattered with lots of little things to offer up to Him in thanksgiving.”

To Valerie, living the adventure of a life with Christ is a life lived in gratitude. It is a life focused not on the small inconveniences of pulling weeds or waking up at the break of dawn, but awakening to the beauty amidst the everyday challenges that come to meet us each day. Life with Christ may sometimes look like a field of weeds, but as Valerie so gently reminds us, “When done for the Lord, a field of weeds is transformed into a field of flowers scattered with lots of little things to offer up to Him in thanksgiving.”

A rising second-year student, Ben Vierheller, contributes to the conversation with an added emphasis on relationship. In responding to how he ‘lives the adventure’ in the everyday ordinary he states:

“In St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, we read, "Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity" (Ephesians 5: 15-16).  I try to view every day as an opportunity to grow as a follower of Christ.  Especially during these less structured days of summer, this effort has taken a variety of forms in my life.  I have continued to develop my earthly relationships by spending time with family and friends, and I have served my community through my job at a local golf course.  Even more importantly, this time has allowed me to slow down, reflect on my relationship with God, and spend time trying to grow closer to Christ.  These encounters with God and with others have certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I know they will be very beneficial as I continue my life journey.”

To Ben, living the adventure of a life with Christ is a life lived in service to others. He so wonderfully reminds us of the need for each of us to be intentional with our family, friends, community, and most importantly God, who deeply desires for each of us to encounter Him personally. As Ben beautifully captured in the Scripture passage from Ephesians, we must be sure to “watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish person but as wise, making the most of the opportunity.”

Do you make the most of the everyday opportunities for holiness unfolding before you? In your work? In your conversations with others? In the difficulties that arise?

How is God calling you to ‘live the adventure’ in the everyday ordinary, too? 

 

Edited by Emily Niese

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