How will the escape begin?

How will the escape begin?

A few years ago I wrote this onto the first page in my Bible. At the time I felt entangled in discouraging, defeating sin out of which I could not climb or struggle free. I also felt cut off, sitting on the cusp overlooking the next stage of my life, but powerless to join it or start it’s beginning. There was also my every day life that try my best I was only succeeding to show up for. So I took solace in work, the only thing that I felt I was doing well at and at all satisfied in. So I worked…a lot and not much else. Yet though seemingly hopeless I still believed every life to be/contain a great adventure, a story unique unto itself that each person can live out. A great adventure that my life felt totally without. Great tales and stories unfathomable, filled with mystery, and the next great surprise around the corner.

I wanted to know how it was that I would escape from my life to the great adventure that I knew from my very depths was waiting to begin. Every great fairy tale begins somewhere and every colossal story starts with something . So I wanted to know,  to see that begning happen in my own life. When would I stop simply existing and become a character in my own saga.

And so it finally happened. Last september I was allowed/lifted up to breakthrough. I say allowed/lifted up because it was beyond  my own strength. In my despair and helplessness my spirit cried out. First one week of freedom, then two, then four and the whole time peace that passes all understanding and uncontainable joy began building up and starting to overflow. The greatest story teller of all turned the first page and spoke the beginning word of my story…freedom. Freedom like I’d never known and had all but lost hope for long ago. Through this freedom He began pouring back in life, directing me to step out and take hold of the adventure I’d hoped for even at my own doorstep. Allowing me the opportunity to see what everyday life was like filled with wonder and excitement.

The escape began to true life in Christ, a renewal, a refreshing of his presence. Victory even through adversity, strength through trial. Finding it possible to be brutally honest and frank with God and also to seek what his plans for me might be. Wrestling with Him with questions about certain events and why they’ve unfolded as they have instead of according to my original designs or intentions. On our journey there are times when we just have to ask God, “hey what the crap?” To really lay it all out before him and see where he directs you and how he speaks to you.  And through the most difficult situations he can lead to deeper contentment and surrender even though it may not seem possible. Honestly it just felt good to be open with him even if I was angry about something. Yelling at God may not be the most humble way to approach the throne, but at least there’s some sort of communication happening and you’re being open about things.

So there I was living again even after being run through the fire. Finding adventure in mundane surroundings, seeing a new side to things and at this point given the opportunity for a choice, a sort of choose your own adventure fork in the road. The opportunity to test out my nomadic wanderlust and see where it takes me. To take the adventure abroad and to travel just as everyone at some point dreams. To challenge myself in new unfamiliar settings. To see what a life of travel has to offer and if it’s something I’d like to do permanently. So there’s the why and how I was led to this point of traveling beardedness.

During my time abroad I’ve seen and experienced a lot of amazing things, I’ve met quite a few very cool people, and I’ve had plenty of time for introspection. While everyone said that my travels would change me forever and effect the way I think about everything, I think that the effect has been less dramatic. Having gone through quite a bit of change and life lessons in the last 5-8 years already I feel less radically changed by the trip and more solidified in who I was already. The better analogy would be to a Potter’s fire or kiln in which he puts his newly formed earthen vessel to set and temper its form, strengthening and preparing it for use. 

Though my travels have been shorter then I had originally thought I’m ready to return. Being contented with my opportunities I begin the journey back home. Back to my friends and family in which I find my greatest enjoyment and the source of unending adventures. 

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter/purpose under heaven.

The travel wraps up, but the adventure continues. The begining of the next chapter is already here.

T-minus homecoming.

12 thoughts on “How will the escape begin?

  1. I am super excited that you’re coming home! And I feel really privileged that you would offer this for us to read.

    I think one of the greatest disservices to people is the thought that Christians are always supposed to be happy and never question. It might not be humble to go before God and ask what the crap, but I think it’s an honest place. And I think it takes being in an honest place for Him to move us. Plus, it just feels good to get it all out.

    Welcome home.

  2. Thank you for sharing such a personal facet of your journey — it strikes a chord with what I’ve been dealing with lately.

    Although I was looking forward to seeing you and your beard in more exotic locations, it’ll be great to have you around again!

  3. Hi Eli,
    Thanks for sharing your heart and soul. I have enjoyed your journey as I vicariously traveled with you. I was a young maverick in my youth and still search for the adventure. I love the stories you love and feel the restlessnes you feel at times. My life is nearing the other end and I look back and ponder. David was honest, true to God’s face. He did not hold back. I wonder how much Paul learned from his adventures than from the time he was isolated in house arrest. What I know it that God directs the journey-it is up to us to have as Manning says to have ruthless trust in him as well as be brutally honest to ourselves as well as our creator and savior. I have prayed for you since you were concieved and I love being able to still keep you a part of my life. Your parents are very special people with whom we have shared a relationship with them and God like no other. Godspeed, Roxie and Craig

  4. Welcome back. I’m glad to see you’ve made a spiritual journey as well as the physical one. In my opinion, that is always the more important.

    Please find some time to drop by the office. I know a lot of people would be glad to see you. I also hope you continue to update this site, as I enjoyed reading your adventures.

  5. Welcome home! I am excited to see God continue the work He is doing in you. You and your beard are a blessing to me and so many others around you. I pray that your adventure is just beginning and that you fully live the “abundant” life. God bless!


    On to the next adventure! I remember when we got our first video camera and you tried it out. What imagination! An adventure in grass and vegetation! You have always had a lot going on within – you have just been able to let it out where others are unable to.

    You are ready for your next adventure in living. Working with your talent, loving your family, friends and others and serving the Lord. Life is a great adventure when you live it to the fullest!

    I am thankful you are safe and home! Trek over this way soon!

    Love Grandma

  7. We are glad to have that bearded smiling face home again! In a way, I kinda understand the “less-intense mecca” trip. Hardening of the earthen vessel is a great word picture, a kiln, another trip into the Refiner’s fire. Also, kudos on the allusion to Choose Your Own Adventure books. Hardly anyone remembers those:)

  8. Welcome back Eli. It was a great testimony. Yes, even though the distance grows between there and back again, the adventure will continue on. The particular adventure to which you so aptly spoke will never end and will be wondrous day by day if only to you at times. I venture to say that the changes made will only reveal themselves as the days,months and years roll by. I look back 30 years on a young man who ventured to the Amazon basin and see changes still occurring. I believe you will also.
    God has majorly blessed you in the preparation for and on The Trip. There is no reason He will not continue to do so back in the US. Just don’t be surprised if days come when foreign lands call like home and home seems a bit foreign.
    Good on ya Mate

  9. Oops! Guess you are back home. Just like me – always a step behind. :)

    Can’t wait to read about your trip.

    Nite nite! :)

  10. Eli
    Jarod sent me a link one day several weeks ago and I’ve been silently enjoying your passage since that day.

    The passage of time and land was always interesting to hear and learn. Your passages that you’ve laid on this nonexistent paper have been refreshing and rewarding.

    Get in contact as soon as you have time, Jen and I would both love to see you.


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