One of my favourite books as a young boy was the adventures of two lads in the 1600’s in early Canada. It was called “Far Past The Frontier” by James Braden. I would imagine my pals and I clad in buckskin, plying unknown rivers in a birch bark canoe, pitting our wits against nature, and discovering unexplored territories. I used to lament that fact that all those frontiers had already been explored long before I was born.
In later years, of course, I found that life presents us with endless frontiers to explore. Our spiritual frontiers, in particular, are only limited by our willingness to cross them into new territory. In fact, crossing the frontier from the known into the unknown is the very definition of adventure! Far from being a limited experience where you can say, “Been there, done that” , our walk with God constantly challenges us with fresh horizons. It’s his way of pushing us to grow up.
Four areas that spiritual leaders need to constantly push back their frontiers in are:
- Their revelation of the Word. Without this you become a library, not a leader.
- Their passion for God. Without this you will only follow others, not lead them.
- Their character. Without character you become a spiritual huckster, not a spiritual leader.
- Their goals. Without doing this you are just standing still.
Frontiers define the extent of our growth. They are the demarcation line between where we are and where we need to go next. I guess we could say that frontiers represent our limitations. And in that sense, they are the enemy. The enemy which though we may never defeat, we must never stop fighting.
The truth is – leaders are people who are going somewhere. They harbor a restless discontent with the status quo that makes standing still a temporary pastime at best. Their inner quest drives them to the frontiers of their experience where they can stand and gaze into the mists of possibility beyond… their fear of the unkown, overwhelmed by their fear of the all too familiar. They thrive on the adrenalin rush of the adventure, surfing the crest of the learning curve, thumbing their nose at the smallness that is yesterday.
So what, then? How do you awaken the intrepid adventurer inside yourself? Well, there may be other steps, but it’s all driven by one thing: the unshakable conviction that what lies within your frontiers are small things compared to what lies beyond them. The tenacious idea that what you have is nothing compared with what you could have. The unwavering belief that the greatest days of your life still await you – Far Past The Frontier.