This iteration of this “Grand Adventures” comes shortly upon the conclusion of “The Annual Advent Adventure–2010 Edition“, a series convening on each of the twenty-five (25) days before Christmas, 2010. The results of that Grand Adventure were so overwhelmingly positive, and so many requests were received to do another adventure, that even though I was not at first willing, I did finally relent and agree to do a Grand Adventure for Easter-tide.
What I knew from the shared experience of The “Advent”Adventure” was that the process worked out better than I or anyone else could possibly have planned. The bar had been set very high, indeed, for any future iterations of the “Grand Adventures” and I was quite honestly intimidated to even imagine another such Grand Adventure after only so short a time. The work was so intense for the participants, and so very intense for me that I was required to take the entire month of January, 2011 off–no new words. For the first two weeks, I did precisely that–the longest period of writing dormancy in nearly forty years!
I asked a general survey question at the conclusion of the Advent Adventure about possible themes for a future adventure, and got some twenty different responses. Easter/Lent garnered some 65% of the total votes cast, with a range of topics sufficient for a complete rainbow. Rather than begin the arduous task of researching all the possibilities, I gave them all up in prayer to my Dad, my Heavenly Father. I let them go, and worked very hard to enjoy the remaining weeks of January, 2011.
On February 4th, 2011, I awoke from a dream that frankly quite terrified me. The remnant of my dream was, interestingly enough, concerning a remnant. We are the everlasting remnant of God’s chosen children, having been grafted to the tree of Israel by the work and blood of My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Easter is a particularly Christian celebration, coming primarily (but not solely) from the earliest Church and the apostolic teachings of the first church. I had been dreaming, for some reason, about apostolic teaching (handing down to generations by only the accurately divided spoken word), when I heard a voice saying clearly to me:
“Let Lent LIVE!”
There was nothing to go with it; no explanation, no foundational text or understanding. What I did know was that I had been given yet another task to do for my Dad. The how, where, when, and why were not yet clear to me, but I did receive a deep sense of peace in my spirit about this next Grand Adventure. I did put out a feeler to a select group of those who had previously experienced an adventure to see what their response would be to another adventure–which is all I could ask at the time, seeing as how I had no further information to go on. I was not pleased, to be honest with the result, and quickly determined that I had been looking for a way OUT of doing this work. The response was unanimously in favor of another such adventure, and Easter was just PERFECT.
It must be noted here that the Grand Adventures begin their collective lives on my professional writing home site, http://writing.com. One of the most important aspects of any activity shared by a group on that site is the element of creative writing. With The Advent Adventure, I was astounded by both the intensity, regularity, and extremely high quality of the creative writing produced by the adventurers (participants). reporting of increased faith values had cleared the charts of our expectations, and many lives were positively impacted by the adventure.
With The Lenten Adventure, I chose to require each participant to present themselves daily for FORTY-NINE (49) days (The Lenten Season) AND with their own created fictional character, through whom to see the story of Christ’s earthly ministry of some 36 months. Beginning at the River Jordan, where Jesus is baptized by John, to the ascension to Heaven following his Crucifixion, this adventure would have depth, breadth AND width. I fear the complexity of preparation, not knowing how we will get from beginning to end. It is asking a lot of the adventurers, among whom were several who could not complete the simpler task of the Advent Adventure for one reason or another.
There will be more written regarding this newest Grand Adventure. The Advent Adventure is now on its way to publication, and will be a sold course in TOSCA this coming Christmas. The Lenten Adventure is still in its genesis. How it develops, how it goes, and what I learn from this promise to my Dad fulfilled will be the words of this Journal.
Soli Deo Gloria!
M. B. Fields, Jr. DMA, D.Min.
Columbia, Tennessee USA