Adventure As Life

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Photo taken by the author

“Life is adventure, not predicament.”

– James Broughton

Adventure is what the human heart most desires.

It can come in different ways for different people.

For me, I find adventure in the things that are new for me, first-time experiences – such as travelling, and sports: skiing during the winter months, slalom skiing in the summers, golfing, road biking, and rollerblading.

In his book, “Wild at Heart”, John Eldredge states there are three core desires to a man’s heart: A battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. (1)

I sincerely believe he is both accurate and correct in this assessment of how men are wired.

In this post, I want to focus on that second key desire – the theme of adventure.

As I write this, I am staring out at the Simien Mountains range before my eyes, in the Northern Ethiopian highlands. I am sitting inside a “lodge” as my dinner is being prepared by the cook I hired, and other friendly, local assistance.

A red-headed rooster just walked past the entrance door and its presence cast a darkness covering the room, preventing the daylight in its fullness from entering through the doorway.

I can hear African music being played outside as the locals are jamming to it on the deck out front. And by “jamming”, I mean three or so men huddled around on stumps of wood for seats while listening to the tunes coming from a boombox.

As well, voices of the African language are being exchanged, words that I cannot understand; thus, are to be simply enjoyed as “background noise”, to accompany this section of writing.

Before I left on my first mission’s trip to Africa, which was my first time to Africa, my dad gave me a card which read, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

On the front of the card there is a really cool picture of a surfer, not too different from a guy my age, with adventure oozing out from his pores, staring out into the distant waters of the ocean, with an indescribable and radiant sunrise in the foreground.

I loved this card and it touched my heart deeply, mainly for the invitation that was awaiting to do something very fun and adventurous.

I wanted to go surfing right then and there.

It was an invitation to be adventurous.

Notes:

(1) John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2001), 9.

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What Is It About Those Movie’s? – Part 2 of 2

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Photo taken by the author

“When a movie character is really working, we become that character. That’s what the movies offer: Escapism into lives other than our own.”

– Roger Ebert

One movie that has been very inspirational and moving to me is “Seabiscuit”.

It’s really the story of two soul’s: a jockey and a horse.

It’s a dual storyline outlining their coming-of-age, and discovering who they really are – who they were born to be.

And like anyone of us, it’s a timeless story that takes time for their real self to emerge: a journey undertaken through thick perils, deep inner darkness, which the characters must go through in order for them to come forth in full radiance.

Both Red (the jockey) and Seabiscuit (the horse) have been given a gift that very few other people recognize.

They don’t even recognize it for what it is themselves.

For most of their lives they have been at the brunt and cruel end of other people’s bullying, negligence, and abuse.

The line in the movie that really stood out for me, the first time and every time since, is: “You don’t throw a whole life away just ‘cause he’s banged up a little.” (1)

For me, this is the theme of the movie.

It’s what the whole show is trying to convey to its viewers.

This line was mentioned in reference to Seabiscuit, the horse that no one could see any potential in, and certainly not invest any worthwhile time in.

Let’s, for a moment, remember who Seabiscuit started out as.

He was a horse that for all of his life had been trained to lose.

Sure, he got to race with the other horses, but for the sole intent of losing so the other horses could feel and taste what true victory is really like.

During training and practice trials, other horsemen would use Seabiscuit and put him up against their own horses, so the other horses would win and get used to the feeling of winning – all the while, with Seabiscuit losing, every time.

Imagine yourself being told: “You are a loser. All you do well is lose.”

Pretty defeating, I’d say.

Think about what this would do to the heart of this horse.

What would it do to your heart if you were Seabiscuit?

And then there’s Red, an only child, who was abandoned by his parents as a young boy, due to the Great Depression of the Stock Market Crash of ’29. His parents, like countless others, lost everything, and couldn’t even afford to keep their child.

He had grown up without the love and presence of his natural parents and was sent to fill these deep longings from the things the world had to offer.

But it was all temporal; none of it lasted or stood the test of time. They were all but a shadow of the real thing.

Before he saw his parents for the last time, his father said to his son, “You have a gift. You have a gift.” (2)

That gift was riding horses well and being able to uniquely relate to them.

And then these two seemingly misfits, as judged by society at that time, are matched together – as horse and jockey.

And they fit together perfectly, like a right-hand and a left-hand glove.

This is because they both understand each other’s lives and all the pain the other has gone through.

Sure, this is a human and a horse we’re talking about here, but are not all feelings, especially of the deeper kind, perceivable?

The story goes on to showing this pair becoming a champion, and winning several horse races they enter, including the big ones.

Notes:

(1) Seabiscuit, DVD, directed by Gary Ross, (2003; USA: Universal Pictures & DreamWorks Pictures, 2003).

(2) Seabiscuit.

What Is It About Those Movie’s? – Part 1 of 2

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Photo taken by the author

“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.” –Steven Spielberg

Movie’s have a profound effect on a person’s psyche.

Sure, when watching a movie, you might say to yourself, “This is just entertainment”, or, “It’s Friday night, it’s just for fun”, or, “I just need to relax”.

That may be true, but it’s more.

Movies are stories, and in stories is how we understand the world around us, and the people and objects in it.

More importantly, it is in stories that we understand our place in the world and what our role is in it.

At a deeper level, stories reveal things about ourselves, that we may never have learned anywhere else, except in watching a motion picture.

Movie’s reveal to us clues about who we are. What we love doing. The core desires we long for, that are written on our hearts – even if they have been locked and buried away for some time.

Films unearth something in us.

They move us, rather profoundly.

The characters, the storyline, the moving scenes, the cinematography, the subtle forms of communication, the music that is perfectly timed to activate a response from our hearts.

Throughout the movie we are watching (especially if it’s a really great one), we get moved to experience any number of the vast human emotions.

We cry and the tears flow, we feel joy and happiness, anger or rage wells up in us, laughter and our own unique sense of humour (including the occasional and random snort) bursts forth, and deep sadness overcomes us.

All of this happens within a roughly two-hour timespan.

During that time, it feels like I’ve lived a decade or so, with all the emotion the film lurked out of me.

It’s unbelievable, really.

You know the scenes that move you – that grip you:

Whether it’s the young maiden falling into her lover’s arms after a long and very intense rescue mission for her heart;

Or when lover’s are once again reunited, and the hero goes in an all-out battle against her enemies where he emerges victorious – all for her;

Or when justice is finally granted for the afflicted and the oppressed;

When a person – old or young, male or female – is set free from the prisons of their own soul, be it their mind, will, or emotions (or a combination of any or all of them);

When the underdog high school basketball team wins the championship for which they were not expected to win even one game during the regular season;

When a city is saved in the midst of great evil and darkness, all because of an uncompromising and courageous leader;

When a person, place, or thing is totally redeemed and fully restored.

The list of these universal, yet deeply intimate, themes goes on.

Of course it goes on – why else would Hollywood be pumping out so many movies, year after year? For what other reason except these universal themes do screenwriter’s have to go off of for their scripts?

And it is these themes that, like clockwork, always strike a nerve within our hearts and in our minds – and we think for a moment, and believe – even for the slightest second, that this could be us.

It can be me. It must be me.

For what other reason was I born than for this?

To experience this grandness. All of it.

As you may recall, each of us only has one life set before us – to live.

Utilizing my personal website as a job seeker

I recently read in a article that “80% of job seekers want a personal website (yet, only 7% have one).”

With that being said, I thought it would be a good idea to get a head start of this curve for giving myself the best opportunities in being noticed by the right company for the right position – from an online perspective.

And so I have decided to join my personal website, which I created over a year-and-a-half ago, as a way to establish and promote myself.

In short, I wanted to put to use my creative and right-brain skills to the test for attracting potential employers via my personal website.

Let me begin.

Here I am as I find myself in the elusive job hunt searching for that best career fit. I have tried different jobs in the past, each requiring different skill sets for different business purposes.

I have been in the hunt for the past 8 weeks now. I am told by friends, family, and mentors alike to “be patient”, “keep hanging in there”, “don’t give up”, and “keep persevering.”

I’m not looking for just any job, but am looking for a career that is a good fit between myself and a future employer that will enable us both to grow as we move forward.

I have also been advised that looking for a job is a full-time time job. This I know.

I’ve been fortunate enough to find work in the interim to pay the bills and put gas in my car.

In a way, I have 2 full-time jobs: one that is paying me now & one I am hoping to be compensated for as the next career fit.

However, this go-around I am focused as I have a target, a job title, that I am searching for.

I am currently seeking an analyst or project role.

Why an analyst role: I enjoy analyzing things, which includes people, events, data, and I figure why not get paid for using these analytical skills; solving problems – this is where I shine, both organizationally and relationally; being a logical person, I instinctively create systems or methods for getting stuff done; I’m also a details-kind-of-guy, always looking for complete and accurate information; I have a knack for clear, professional communication, either well-written or well-said.

Why a project role: I am at my best when given a timeframe for work to be completed by; I’m a great organizer; I enjoy managing all the different aspects of a project; being a natural finisher I seek follow-up to ensure that what was said will get done, actually does get done; I enjoy working with people as I can understand and relate to what they are thinking & feeling; having a keen eye for being able to see the finished product before it has begun; and the ability and willingness to articulate the steps needed, at each stage, to accomplish that plan or vision.

To see more of who I am on paper my resume can be viewed here.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Africa-bound

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                                    Flags: Rwanda & Ethiopia, respectively  

Hey all, got something exciting coming up…from May 16th – 31st, 2014, I have the cool opportunity of going with the NGO, HOPEthiopia, on a mission’s trip to Africa.

It’s a 2-week trip & our team plans on spending 1 week in Rwanda and the other week in Ethiopia & I might be staying longer.

In Rwanda, we are planning on working with the widows and orphans, as well as facilitating a concert for the students of Iwawa.

In Ethiopia, we’ll be helping with the construction of an orphanage, and spending time with the children/youth & local churches.

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Also, our team has a website that we’ll be updating in the weeks leading up to the trip & hopefully while we’re in Africa. There is a blog, a photo gallery, a cool section introducing the team members, fundraising events, & more! You can check it out at:

http://ethrwanda.com

I would ask for your prayer’s for myself and our team and that this trip would be what God wants it to be.

Thanks!
Dwight

ethrwanda

 

Europe – Part 11

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“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

 

For the last post of this series, I thought I would provide some info I used for planning my Europe trip, and that may be of help for your travelling adventures. Included are the following: Resources, research, websites, packing lists and travel quotes to inspire you in your travels.

 

Resources to use:

Research:

  • Go to the library and take out books on your destination to become familiar with the places and culture of where you’ll be travelling
  • Search Google and get “well-versed” online!
  • Check out the places you’ll be seeing & see pictures ahead of your trip. That way, when you’re there you’ll be able to recognize these famous landmarks and know something about them
  • Talk to other people who have travelled in general, and people who have been where you are going, in particular. Get additional tips, cost saving’s, the “inside scoop”, recommendations of what to do and what not to do, etc

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Travel Websites:

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Packing Lists:

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More Quotes on Travelling:

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Europe – Part 10

Most Impactful: Island of Patmos

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Entrance to The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian

“I, John…was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God.”
– Revelations 1:9, ESV

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The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, at the top of Patmos

 

Having been part of the ‘party-culture’ tour that I was on, I was in desperate need of spiritual nourishment. I was able to find this, in part, on the Island of Patmos.

There was some confusion and miscommunication for this excursion I was signed up for, and I almost missed being able to go. After some determination, I was able to see and experience the place where the Apostle John spent the remaining days of his life and the great work that God did through him, whereby writing the last book of the Bible, Revelations.

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Looking towards the Aegean Sea, while standing on the Island of Patmos

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Windmills on Patmos

 

The Island of Patmos, offers 2 historic and Biblically-rich places: The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian & The Cave of the Apocalypse. I was able to see both.

  • The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
    – A monastery dedicated to John the Apostle
    – Is quite large in size, with 2 levels
    – Sits at the apex of the island and looks like a medieval castle
    – It feels like you’re going on a pilgrimage as you walk up higher and higher to reach the entranceIMG_3563IMG_3560IMG_3559IMG_3540IMG_3527IMG_3539IMG_3524
  • The Cave of the Apocalypse
    – It is located half-way up the mountain of Patmos
    – Is the place where John the Apostle received his visions from the Lord, as recorded in the book of Revelations
    – Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
    – Once there, you take a steep set of stairs down to the caveIMG_3572IMG_3565IMG_3569IMG_3568

Also cool, the opening and closing scene of the movie, Son of God, are filmed on the Island of Patmos. Released by 2oth Century Fox, the movie is a major motion picture to be shown on the big screen. From the producers of The Bible miniseries, Mark Burnett & Roma Downey, the movie is scheduled to be released on February 28, 2014.

Here is the link for the official trailer, with the poster below: Son of God

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