Great post from Rhymin' Simon on St. Brendan - here - a section of which I've plagiarised!
1) Adventure: without adventure, our lives become dull and empty. Today we’ve attempted to rule out any element of adventure or risk in our lives, because we’re afraid of potential disaterous consequences. (’Don’t go out on your bike, you’ll get hurt’; ‘dont play out in the street kids, you get snatched by a paedophile’; ‘dont eat that plant, you might get ill.’ ‘Don’t pee on an electric fence…’ – actually that last one is right.)
But life without risk and adventure is dull, it becomes the antithesis of itself, lifeless. Certainly in church we’ve lost the element of risk and adventure which saw Christianity spread like a virus across the world hundreds of years ago. Now we’re safe, secure, and a bit fearful – what a rubbish way to live.
Why are we so afraid of risk? We’re too sold on our consumer culture attitude of safety and security as provided by banks and belongings (ha!) – well perhaps that notion is changing…
2) Dream: without dreams we’re nothing. To dream is to transcend the present reality, to enter a place where the impossible is possible, and to live a life full of hope and mystery. My kids have crazy dreams, they make no sense, they are impossible, but when they tell me about them, their eyes burn with excitement, and their minds expand. I want them to make their dreams come true (except that one about the flying elephant.)
With dreams we need the first element too, adventure, risk, the ability to suspend disbelief long enough to just give it a good try. I’m obviously not talking now about those crazy childish dreams of flying elephants and so on, I’m talking now about the kind of dreams we all harbour in our hearts, the things we’d love to do, the places we want to go, the adventures we want to take. To see dreams come true, we need to risk them not coming true too, we need to invite risk back into the equation.
In the navigatio Brendan and his monks make an impossible journey, with all kinds of adventures along the way. If we manage to engage our sense of adventure with our dreams, and suspend our disbelief long enough to take a few risks, then we too may just see the impossible become possible, and have a blast along the way.