Anyone who knows me, knows I love doing new things and adventure.

Hey Sarah: A group of us are going to a dude ranch…want to go?

Me: Yes!

Hey Sarah: Let’s run a marathon!

Me: I’m in!

Hey Mom: You should learn to ride a dirt bike—you’re only 46. C’mon, it’ll be fun!

Me: Um . . . ok! (I did learn, and I had the road rash to prove it.)

Hey Sarah: For vacation, let’s drive across the country to New York. Do you want to?

Me: Let’s do it!

Can we ride bikes? Can we get a puppy? Can we have ice cream for dinner? Yes. Yes. Yes!

And so it goes, because . . . I love adventure. My goal is to rarely say no.


Recently, Matt and I had the opportunity to go camping with a group of friends. So we invited a couple we know well from Harvest to join us. We have dirt bikes, and they have a jeep—so it turned out to be a win-win. I could jump in the backseat of their jeep, free from potential injury (we call those “badges of courage”) and still enjoy the adventure.

Off we went into the middle of the desert, exploring. The bikes led the way. And me? I was happily along for the ride, safely settled in the backseat, wind blowing through my hair without a care!

Then we reached a point where the dirt trail dipped down . . . then back up. Small boulders (or maybe just big rocks) were scattered here and there. I watched my people take their two-wheels down the hill and gas it back up, hopping over the rocks along the way. Easy-peasy! Now it was our turn. The jeep started to slowly, methodically creep down the hill.

I glanced over at my friend. She gasped. And I gasped. Then she put her head in her hands. And I put my head in my hands. She prayed out loud. So I prayed out loud. My prayer was really just one word: Jesus!

Her husband graciously did his best to relieve our panic. We’re okay girls. It’s just a little hill. He even took time to get out of the jeep to check that his wheels were in well-worn grooves and he chose the right line to take. He gently eased the jeep down the trail at barely a crawl, then thump! The jeep tire hit a big rock and bumped right over it. I instinctively grabbed the roll bar and held on for dear life as my friend cried out,


She climbed out of the jeep, opting to walk down that hill instead. Taking my cue from her, I got out too, my heart racing. I didn’t want this steep hill to be the place where I ended all things adventure and took my last breath!

Together, we gingerly walked down the hill . . . then up the next hill. What I didn’t realize is that my husband was taking video—I mean, documenting adventure—the whole time! I thought he was recording all the off-roading action, especially the expert driving of my friend’s husband.

We made it safely to the top (so did the jeep) where the rest of our group was waiting. We had a picnic of PB&J’s, chips, and lots of cookies (cause we eat our feelings). During lunch, we watched the video—and it was just a bit pathetic. Looking back from where we were sitting now, that “steep ravine” was barely even a hill. Seeing the whole thing on video made us laugh so hard at how ridiculous we were, and how scared we felt!

Now, I love my friend. I love how she speaks truth into my life. I love the hard words she sometimes gives—maybe not in the moment, but for sure afterwards because I know they are spoken in love. I love our times of talking and laughing and eating and adventuring together. Remembering that jeep ride still makes me laugh, but it got me thinking of how easily we’re influenced by others, especially our friends.

Growing up, my mama always told me, “Those you hang around the closest, you act like the mostest.” And there’s truth to that.

The Bible says, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get into trouble” (Proverbs 13:20).

Choose wisely.

We need to surround ourselves with friends who encourage us in our walk, pointing us to Jesus and His truth and His promises. Friends who will give us the hard word when we need it because they love us too much to stay quiet. We all need a friend like that, and we should be that kind of friend for others.

Will I adventure with this friend again? Absolutely yes. Will I get out of the jeep if she gets out again? Also, yes! Why? Because walking side by side with a friend is better than almost dying in a jeep.

Did we almost die? No—but as long as that video doesn’t surface, would anyone really know?