I used this quote by Stanley Hauerwas in a Sunday sermon and revisited it after seeing a “Poop Pumping” sign.
“Christianity: It’s An Adventure. What we do when we educate kids to be happy and self-fulfilled is to absolutely ruin them. Parents should say to their kids: What you want out of life is not happiness but to be part of a worthy adventure. You want to have something worth dying for. It’s awful when all we have to live for is ourselves.”
The phrase “worthy adventure” is a helpful quick test for our decisions. I just finished shopping so I’m thinking especially about our consuming decisions. And who can pass up the profound implications of a “POOP PUMPING: Hike at your own Risk” sign?
Think about all the things you consume — the stuff you buy, the things you eat, the news you listen to.
Are they moving you into a worthy adventure?
I have a mixed bag from my own shopping day. The first aid kit and the squirt guns are definitely part of a worthy adventure; the bag of gummy bears might have been an impulse buy.
News is a consumer item, and I can tell almost immediately what media someone consumes by what they spew. Let me just throw out there that lectures, sneering or arrogant certitude never make for an adventure.
Curiosity is part of a worthy adventure; ask more questions and listen to a variety of resources. In this time that political ads are ramping up, listen to what they are trying to sell; is it a worthy adventure?
POOP PUMPING: Hike at your own Risk — I feel like that describes a life of following Jesus. It is the risky journey of trying to figure out what has worth and what is excrement (I used the thesaurus on that one so I didn’t say “s—-” and upset my dad).
• Tari Stage-Harvey is pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. “Living Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders.