My perception of adventure changed drastically with a United Airlines buddy pass. You see, my best friend Lindy became a flight attendant, and for my birthday present last year, she asked me to become her Enrolled Friend.
I emailed her a picture of my passport and Global Entry number, so I could continue to get pre-check on every flight. She and I quickly became the in-house aviation experts – regularly communicating with obscure airport codes and meeting up in the O’Hare Airport United Terminal. We have gone on a few adventures together including surfing in Honolulu and eating paella in Valencia, but the most comforting place we find is our Bibles when we sit side-by-side to study together.
The allure to travel is that maybe if we go somewhere new, we will become someone new. I have travelled to the point of exhaustion and break down: running from my fears, avoiding the realities in front of me, and numbing myself to pain in order to escape the past and find something new somewhere, anywhere else. I can go to a thousand new places, but unless I turn to the pages in that worn, Black, leather book next to me, I will remain the same Frankie, the same broken Frankie with a few more stamps in her passport. Often, I am so slow to turn to the words I know will bring me to life again.
Lindy and I could be anywhere in the world, and often we are. We can hop on any flight that has two open seats, but we have learned that adventure is not an Instagram post or a passport stamp. Often, when we are riding our bikes through our childhood hometown, sitting at her kitchen table, or playing tennis on the courts where we first became friends we say to one another that there is no place that we would rather be. We find that the greatest adventure is learning to be still in His presence, content with where He has us: working as a waitress and living at home or constantly on the go with photography gigs.
I want the Holy Spirit adventure: catching the wave of Presence and the excitement of seeing God weaving stories of healing and redemption together in His love. Nothing is more beautiful, and often to see it we have to be still enough and know who He is through His word to catch the glory.
Lindy and I, we hold our plans loosely and go where He calls – to go or to stay. We have gone to the airport with our own plans and turned back countless times when we feel the Lord telling us that He is sending us home. The grand paradox is that we are on the greatest adventure we will ever know in the words of His radical love. My Bible is littered with boarding passes as bookmarks, and my notebooks are marked with stories of Spirit-filled conversations with the passenger next to me.
The Holy Spirit has redefined adventure: He is the adventure.
words by Frankie Roskam and photo by Shelby Bauer