Why go after your dreams?
It has been said and rightly observed by those who have no hope that, one of three very distinct things happen to your dreams and creative passions over a period of time. We will call this your story. Once you become trapped in your story, strapped for time, persuaded by others who are enslaved by the common dogma of what a role model looks like. Or, perhaps you were once bound by your own personal sin but you confessed them, received pardon and forgiveness from Christ, and were restored into righteousness in Him but, others hi-jacked the narrative of your story, holding you prisoner to a specific chapter in your life, never bothering to go deeper into your story so you…
1. You either let your hopes, dreams, and adventures die.
2. You went after them any way.
3. You treated them like the hobby you always dreamed of.
Option one is clearly the acceptance and equivalent of a load of dung! It is the number one reason we have an epidemic of emasculated men who are afraid of adventure, and cower at the possibility of having a narrative that is different than anyone else’s in our culture. This leaves men ineffective in their roles as fathers and as leaders of their families, estranged in their relationship with their wives, and slaves to our society on many levels.
Option two is the gutsy, meaningful path. It’s what IRR is all about. This sense of adventure and the pursuit of it wears earplugs around those who have hi-jacked their story and responds only to the voice of The One who said, “I will write my will on their hearts.” This is why we are so passionate at I Ride Rogue about getting people on adventure but, you never want to pursue your passion without God by your side. That would only produce a self-made man and not a God made man who is totally reliant on Him.
And then there’s option three.
The No Risk Route. You’ll seem so wise, so practical, and so grown-up. Surely those who have hi-jacked the narrative of your story will come to their senses and see that you have changed your ways and become the model citizen!
With this kind of approach you tell yourself you no longer have the time or freedom to realize your dreams and passions or to pursue them at the utmost level of your ability–so you decide from here on out you’ll do it “just for fun’ or “as a hobby.”
It is unfortunate because in that moment of rationalization, most men take what was once the driving passion of their creative life and reduce it to just something that is a distraction from real life, like a hobby.
Do you feel like you want adventure or that you want to pursue your passion but every time you mention it someone starts ripping your heart out? O, but come on. You have to be realistic. How can you be expected to go an adventure or pursue your passion when you’ve got a wife, kids, and bills to pay? The days of swinging from the chandelier’s are over.
In short, you believe the lie that putting your hope in God and embarking on an adventurous passion exacts to great a price and you can’t afford it.
You think going on adventure means working longer hours, giving up too much, or quitting your day job. You think saying “yes” to your passions means saying “no” to your family. Maybe, you look at fatherhood and see only constraints and liabilities: less time, less money, less risk tolerance.
I ran into a twenty-something the other day who actually gets it! He saw me in a parking lot, in front of my favorite going on adventure store as I was returning from a three-day adventure in Wind Hell! (More on that in a minute.) He had noticed my adventure motorcycle with all the camping gear strapped on ad indicated that he wanted to get his whole family out on motorcycles adventures and that he would be doing it soon. In His comments he stated that his dad always had the family on adventure and that he would be making it a priority for his family. It was obvious that there hade been a powerful impact on this outgoing, articulate, and ready to tackle anything, young man and that it was the result of an adventurous father. Don’t forget the assets…the ways fatherhood forges you for greatness, the way being an adventurous man builds a “can do” attitude, how it breaks down the walls of fear so that others will venture beyond those walls to discover and achieve new things.
You may be in your 50’s like me. And yes, admittedly I cannot do adventure in the same way my 31-year-old son would, He has the ability and physical strength to consume large amounts of life with long hours of work all while juggling family and even building a new home.
Thankfully, I am older and wiser now. I have developed a network of others around me. They are resourceful and full of their own stories! They come with hard-earned emotional intelligence, the life experience, and the practical horse sense required for success. So, now I pursue my passion and stay on adventure by partnering with these people, it is done by using a force multiplying strategy that most younger counterparts would never have the breadth of experience to even consider. More importantly, it is all in simple response to hearing from and cultivating a relationship with my heavenly Father! If He is not the driving force behind everything we do and if He is not at the center of our lives then all of these thoughts would just be about self-betterment and a load of psychobabble!
Example; This weekend I held a tour for Adventure Motorcyclists to a destination in the Eastern Oregon Desert. It has always been an epic adventure! This weekend was no different but definitely not the same. In short, we rode through freezing rain, experienced. 50+ mph winds, and lost a good tent. Even though this adventure was planned to be the epic opening of our touring season, it rapidly became the trip to a windy Hell! However, all things considered, it was still one of the best trips I have done and all for different reasons. You see the stories that were shared and the mutual partnering of getting through the weekend became the real adventure. And even though it was difficult, at the same time it was rewarding, even satisfying! As men, we once again learned that life is not about the destination but the journey and that God has a plan for our lives as we journey with Him thus, a great adventure was had and our passion was renewed!
It’s not too late to get on adventure; it’s not too late to change the narrative of your story. It’s never to late to pursue your passion, to be on adventure, or to take some risk. Start by doing what you are passionate about for 5 hours a week. Make it your your expertise, do it with gusto in a way that it is contagious to others. Once you start, stand back and watch what God does with your story!
The world has given us to many excuses for not pursuing our dreams, passions, and the things we should be dedicating our lives to.
Just because your story line is different than someone else’s doesn’t make aspects of fatherhood, husbandry, finances, time, and occupation liabilities to your passion and adventure. All of these things are like adjectives in our story and are used to help you live your story and to have an impact on others around you, so long as you keep Christ as the center of your life, have the eyes to see it, the heart to pursue it, and the stones to go for it.
On my last ride I rode with 3 other guys, some who I had ridden with before but who had not all ridden with each other. Some were relatively new friends of mine and others of them had never met the others. One of the beautiful things about traveling with someone, whether it’s on a bike or not, is the expedited growth in a relationship. Yes, I have only known some for a short time now, but I know much more about their lives and stories than I do about other people that I have “known” for years. This is a byproduct of motorcycle traveling that is not talked about too much. It is the riding partner dynamic, the stages of growth in friendship that can quickly be accomplished in days rather than months. During my short time riding with these guys, I have learned a lot about them—their childhoods and roles as fathers to the main reasons for doing this ride. You see each of their trips didn’t start on the day that we left Medford, Oregon. They started many years before and their life experience has become invaluable. They are all men who have something to look up to and respect, and I’m thankful that I could be a little part of their lives. The journey is over. Congratulations to you who had the fortitude to look past all of the obstacles, a bunch of good men, good fathers, and good sons. Men who have fought for our country, committed to one woman, love their grand children, and love the Lord. You have finished a good ride, a hard ride, a man ride, and have benefitted from being a part of a community of true motorcycle riders.