Who has the most exciting lives? Where can you go to find real adventure?
Ashley Madison told customers: “Life is short. Have an affair.” The presumption being, cheating on your spouse is the fun adventure you need in this fleeting life.
While most people don’t have an affair and 93% of Americans believe adultery is morally wrong, many still buy into the underlying concept.
We dutifully maintain what we feel are our boring lives with boring relationships and boring homes in boring towns with boring jobs.
We don’t chase after the “sparks” because we know those things are wrong, but we can sympathize with those who do give chase.
It’s there, on that journey, where real adventure lies, real excitement, real courage. Except what if it’s not? What if, in reality, the life that you have dismissed as boring is the true adventure?
We need to do more than reject the life of Ashley Madison, we need to reject her lies as well. There is excitement in ordinary, courage in faithfulness, adventure in the everyday.
The life spent flittering around chasing one spark after another never experiences the glow and warmth of a roaring fire. A life of mere sparks is the real unfulfilled life.
That life never achieves depth—it can’t even comprehend it—because every relationship is shallow. The surface level connections do not last.
That life cannot experience an adventure because it never gets beyond the first page of the story. It leaves when conflict arrives. It never fights through for the resolution.
I thought through my own life recently—coming up on our 14th wedding anniversary and preparing for the arrival of our fourth child—and contrasted it with the lives deemed exciting by this world’s standards.
There’s not much extraordinary on the surface of my life, but it is beautiful. I would not trade a minute of this thrilling adventure for the monotonous faux excitement of the life Ashley Madison and others are selling.
In The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis wanted to help readers grasp the magnitude of the so-called ordinary human individual. He wrote:
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.
All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
Not only are there no ordinary people, to borrow from Lewis, there are no truly ordinary lives. And the only way to rob this life of its adventure is by trying to manufacture it where it does not exist.
Excitement is an inherent part of the everyday life, only its shadow exists elsewhere. You are in the midst of a true adventure. Don’t throw that away for a boring counterfeit.