Today's Adventure: A walk through unexplored areas around Madison's downtown
Just a quick note. If you just want to hear about what I learned today and not about the adventure, skip to the last 2 paragraphs~
Well, today I did absolutely nothing until around 3 pm, mainly because I was just lazy as anything today. At 3 however, I went to Starbucks and had a Mango orange smoothie and a marshmallow square. The same stuff I got at Starbucks in New York. I miss everyone so muuuuch! D: But soon Gabby (a friend of mine from camp) texted me and said that she liked my blog. This was frankly super surprising as I had no idea anyone aside from Sharon and James would be reading this! But for those who can actually sit through and read these blogs, thank you so much. It means a lot that you actually care what my thoughts are. :)
But anyway, I asked Gabby about an idea for today's adventure because, I was frankly at a loss for ideas. She suggested a walk and I though "Well that sounds good! I can take a walk through the forest near my house later!" and thanked her for the idea. However, my mom wanted to walk around Madison for a half hour, so I figured I'd just have to wait until i got home to do my adventure.
But I realized soon that I was going completely against my principal of finding happiness and adventures in the moment, and not always looking ahead to happiness! So I decided, "You know what, this'll be today's adventure. Do something new and exciting in Madison!" So I basically just wandered around for 30 minutes. Yeah, that's todays topic. Sorry XD
As I walked around the main road, I noticed the train tracks were super close. I toyed with the idea of running up the hill and crossing the tracks, but I figured that its probably super unsafe/illegal, so I clearly decided against it. But I eventually left the main road for a bit and found a huge grassy area behind a school. I had never seen the front of the school, so I walked around the fence and began to walk all the way to the front. On the way up, I realized that I was incredibly happy, and filled with excitement as to what will be at the top of the hill the schoolyard was. I took a look back to the road and it felt like I was almost leaving the real world to go on a wonder filled adventure, as stupid as that may sound.
But I made it to the top and there were a bunch of kids and their parents. Because I didn't want to be that weird kid everyone's parents tell their kids to stay away from, I turned the other way to a parking lot. I was about to go back to the main road again, but out of the corner of my eyes, I saw stairs! Stairs are exciting to me, especially random ones through a little wooded area! So I went up these stairs (Which were made out of those concrete bike stops) to find another parking lot behind a large, odd-looking building. I had to find out what this building was! Turned out to be a small place for English classes. It may sound like a big watse of time to you, but I felt like I was accomplishing so much for some reason. I liked this. I liked that I could find all of these fun little areas and then discover things for myself, just like a kid. That's basically the theme of this post. The feeling of being young, discovering something for the first time :)
I walked down the road and realized there were no cars, so I walked in the center of it. This was oddly fun as well, as I'm not used to walking in the middle of the street! Again, out of the corner of my eye, I saw another street I, again, had never seen before, so I walked down it. A police car was behind me, so for a second, I wondered if I was even allowed in all the parking lots I passed on the way to where I was, so I hoped he wouldn't stop me as he passed by. He didn't so I kept walkin.
I found some sort of apartment complex so I walked toward the main street, as I wasn't sure if I had enough time to keep wandering. There was a small wall that went up to about my waist separating the yard of this area from the sidewalk and I again got super excited. I could totally jump over this! So I did, and it made me really happy. You may call me a simpleton, but man, these simple things make me really happy :)
I checked my watch and I realized something that surprised me. It had only been 15 minutes! It felt like I was wandering around forever and it had only been 15 minutes! It was then that I realized how much I waste my time. At home, sitting around, those 15 minutes would have flown by. But I used THESE 15 minutes to accomplish something special and truly fun! Its amazing how much happiness and excitement you can get by doing new things that don't even take too much time! But I was getting very far away from where I had to meet my mom, so I headed back to the clock on Waverly Place. On the way there though, I again noticed ANOTHER street I had never been down, so i thought, why not?
I went down it, and I saw a bunch of buildings I hadn't seen before like a super small baptist church that looks like it was just a house with a larger roof and stain glass windows. That's probably what its like to start a church, I thought. Anyway, I continued down this street, and I realized I didn't recognize anything around me, but I knew a little bit of where I actually was.
I found my way back to the clock tower, but before I did, I saw that someone wrote "Jesus saves" on a the streetlight post. Another person wrote Amen underneath it. And ANOTHER person wrote John 3:3 on top. Needless to say I HAD to look it up. I had a feeling God was going to speak to me through this passage. Needless to say, he did.
"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
Born again. That's it. Being born again! Born again to what? Born again as a new creation! I realized that I was born again, but I didn't really realize how literal that can be! I've accepted Jesus into my heart about 3 or 4 years ago, so I think that reflects me spiritually very well, especially today! I had just been going through, discovering new things like a child. Gazing in awe of all of the amazing things God had created. Once you're born again, you don't just act differently. You ARE new! You can look at things with new eyes, process it with a new mind. Feel it in a new heart. It may sound weird to you, but bear with me. I feel like once one acknowledges that everything was created by God, and begin to talk with him and love him, you see everything differently. Not as just looking beautiful, but looking at something and seeing just how... AMAZING it is! I mean, we look at people's artwork today and praise it, but how often do we look at GOD's artwork, the world, and say just how GORGEOUS it is? Its magnificent how everything in the world is so detailed, and that there's ALWAYS something new to be found in it! I feel like God made the universe infinite because he always wants there to be something new to be discovered, like a child. Discovery is amazing.
But anyway, I went back to the clock and sat on a bench nearby, and waited for my mom. I looked around and saw birds, saw people smiling, and it made me unbelievably happy. I realized something big that moment. Sometimes, excitement and adventure aren't aways physical adventures. Its about HOW you look at things that makes an adventure. I was just sitting down, looking at birds, but I felt like I was still having an adventure! Not a physical one, but one in my mind and in my soul, that I realized I miss so often. How often do we just look at birds and trees and say "Just another boring summer afternoon" and then just complain about how humid it is? We TOTALLY miss the adventure God wants us to have! We miss the WONDER we're suppose to feel! Something we all need to realize. Happiness isn't something good that happens when life isn't going our way. Happiness is already here! Happiness has ALWAYS been here! Its about perspective! Like when I saw those birds and people and it made me happy! It wasn't that the birds were pretty, or the people were any happier than usual, its just the fact that they were.. There! And BEAUTIFUL! As they ALWAYS HAVE BEEN! I can't make it any clearer unfortunately, its hard to express the feelings I felt. But one word always describes all true happiness that anyone can feel. That word is Love. Love is everything. Being happy with the world around us isn't just enjoying nature, its LOVING nature. And loving nature is Loving God, whether you call it God or not. Its funny how God is in all of us, he's in nature, and he IS love. The lover, the thing being loved, and the love are all God. Basically, Its all about God. All about Love. Love is everything.