Monday, March 21, 2011

Ernest Shackleton and Life’s Greatest Adventure

In 1914 the advertisement below appeared in The London Times:

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” (signed) Shackleton

Can you imagine anyone answering an ad like this? Well, thousands of men from all over the world did. From among them, world famous explorer Ernest Shackleton chose 27 to sail with him to Antarctica on a ship he named Endurance. In the nearly two years they traveled across Antarctica, Shackleton and his men battled the elements and endured hardships in an adventure that defies description. These men chose not to play safe.

Jesus invites us into the hazardous rescue mission to Planet Earth. In John 6 when he laid out the cost of signing up for life’s greatest adventure, most of those who claimed to be his followers turned back. And many still do today. But there’s that handful who stick it out and say like Peter -- Lord, you're the only one who has anything lasting, anything that really matters. You offer life and we want to be fully alive.

Men, it is those few who look at the hardships, count the cost and still sign on for the expedition and who will, like Peter and the other first disciples turn the world upside down. Jesus calls us into his great mission and his great adventure to proclaim and glories of His gospel and to make disciples among all men. Like Ernest Shackleton sending out his ad, Jesus talks straight about the "hazards and honor" for those who will risk it all for Him. Wherever you might be in your journey, remember - the easy road, the popular road never leads to anything that really matters. In fact, Jesus said it leads to destruction. So if you want to be fully alive, set sail with the real “Master and Commander” and make a difference that counts forever. 

Terry Virgo, Founder of Newfrontiers, writes, "Grace should never lead to passivity, but to outrageous adventure, a lifestyle that baffles those who play safe. It threatens the status quo not only of tentative religion but also of cynical unbelief." The truth is God's grace sets God's men free to risk it all for what is eternally significant -- freedom in Christ!

© 2011, Dave Brown is a pastor and the director of the Washington Area Coalition of Men’s Ministries (WACMM) and has been the men’s pastor at McLean Bible Church in McLean, Va. He served for 30 years in the federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES), including eight years as an appointee of President Ronald Reagan. He did his seminary work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Reformed Theological Seminary. He’s been a leadership consultant, university administrator and member of the board of directors for the C.S. Lewis Institute.