I have lived most of my life in rural America. I grew up in a village of 600 people in the heart of the northern Adirondacks of New York State. I attended 3 different colleges and helped to start three different churches, all of which were basically rural in nature as well. I guess you could say I am a country boy at heart, even though my life’s work has taken me to some of the largest, and most congested cities on the planet. This has happened primarily because I love the adventure that comes from not following the well-worn path.
As a kid I was never one to just take the path others ran on, unless I was late. My joy came in cutting across the underbrush, walking through an old abandoned foundation and finding “gold” along the way that others missed. My pockets would be bulging with indian arrow heads, quartz crystals, tiny moss-covered medicine bottles and a dozen other national treasures. It was the child-like joy of finding these hidden treasures off the beaten path that made the adventure so rewarding. Others envied my growing stash of loot, but few wanted to go where I went to uncover it.
Here, my friends, is the rub. We all want our lives filled with amazing treasures but we are often hoping to find them along the path we have always taken. I rediscovered a principle recently that I always knew instinctively in my childhood. Namely, I have to get off the well-worn path, that place of comfortable consistency, in order to find the hidden treasure that has been placed in my life. Until I am willing to risk failure, and the uncomfortable knowledge that I don’t know how things will turn out, I will never experience the thrill of uncovering that which others will never see.
My newest trek off the well-worn path will take me to Nigeria this coming August. I was there 5 years ago doing the MMFI International ministers conference with my wife, and it transformed our lives. We returned home after two weeks and 20, 000 miles of travel, totally exhausted. However, our pockets were filled to overflowing with the hidden treasure of hundreds of changed lives in Africa. We ordained 63 pastors and since that time more than a thousand churches have connect to MMFI through those men.
I’ll be going back with my friend and spiritual father Apostle Rick Callahan this time. We will both be digging for the unseen treasure in those godly men and women who attend that conference. To do that we will also both be investing a great deal of time and money to take this step off the well-worn path. In case you missed it, this means there is a cost that all must pay who go this way… it’s not an easy or a free ride.
What about you? Are you sick of your well-worn path and in need of a new adventure? Has your road become more of a rut and daily life taken on the flavor of luke warm coffee? Perhaps it is time to look off the beaten path and recapture the zeal you once had for living. Step out… take a chance… begin to dream again! Get off the well-worn path and embrace the uncertainty of a life well lived in undiscovered territory. You will be amazed at the adventures that are waiting to happen just because you dared to risk it and go another way.