This is a guest post by Nadine Brandes.
I read so many fantasy books as a child and teenager I started to think my life wouldn’t be amazing unless dragons attacked my little Wyoming valley or unless the fate of the world hinged on my brave choices. It was unfair that I was stuck in a Muggle world. Couldn’t God see that lives in fantasy realms had so much more purpose?
A few years passed and I realized life was zipping by without me saving the world or traversing time with merely a walking stick. It wasn’t until I read Jill Williamson’s Blood of Kings Trilogy that I realized…my life can be epic.
Plenty of real-life stories exist of adventure that stretches the mind, power that transcends our concept of reality, and experiences that leave us breathless. Just look at martyrs. Too morbid? How about missionaries? Adventurers? Travelers? Have you seen the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty yet?
There are epic things in this world that don’t involve boggarts or white witches or aliens. It’s my job to find them because God didn’t create us to have boring lives. Really, he didn’t. But it takes a lot of courage to pursue the epic.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Josh. 1:9
“But I’m a stay-at-home mom!”
“But I have to work if I want to eat!”
“But I’m stuck in high school!”
“But I live in the most boring town ever and I’ll never leave.”
This is about the time I’m supposed to say, “Everything can be an adventure, even washing dishes!” and your heart kind of shrinks a little because I’m not inciting any sort of change or providing an answer. Well, I’m not going to say that (because you’re already thinking it.)
Epic adventures require pursuit – not just physical pursuit, but mental pursuit. They come from having the right mindset. God understands epic. He wrote the Bible. He invented the word. He put that desire in our hearts – the desire to be part of something great. And then He said, “I’m the answer. Come to me and I’ll take you there.”
“Now to him who is able to do far more than we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Now when I pick up a fantasy, adventure, or survival book, instead of bemoaning my boring life I start pushing the boundaries in my own story, in my own thinking. Ever since this giant revelation that I can lead an epic life with God, my husband and I have completely re-worked our concepts of adventure.
It’s your turn. Don’t live vicariously through these beautiful fantasy books lining our shelves. Let them be reminders that God is calling you to be a warrior, an adventurer, a pilgrim. Figuratively and literally.
Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, releases Fall 2014 from Marcher Lord Press. When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband.
A Time to Die is Nadine’s debut novel, the first of a dystopian series releasing soon from Marcher Lord Press. Here’s the book’s enticing description! Can’t wait to get my hands on it!!
Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her clock is running out.