Frontier. The word itself evokes thoughts of majestic landscapes, high plains prairies, mountain ranges untouched by human presence. Wagon trains heading into the Wild West, modern pioneers exploring the reaches of space and diving the depths of our oceans. We rarely use the word in the lexicon of our own lives—instead we use words like season or journey—but your life today is very much frontier.
Seasons come and go. Like moving to a new area, changing jobs, switching churches, going from football to basketball season. If our team doesn’t do so well, we say: there’s always next season. We weather through these cycles, and we learn what to expect when the next comes around. And so we become seasoned.
A journey is more a long, steady course over a lifetime. Ups and downs. Wide roads and narrow ones. Easy times and hard ones. A beginning and an end. We are taught to appreciate the journey as much as the destination. Others have gone before us on this road, and we learn from their experiences to improve our own chances at a successful life.
But what of a frontier? Does it sound more risky? Untamed? Ballsy, even? I recently listened to a podcast series from Ransomed Heart called “New Frontiers.” A terrific listen if you get the time. My wife and I will enter one of these new frontiers this year when our oldest son graduates high school. This will absolutely bring a new season along our journey, but it will present a new frontier as well.
The dynamic around our home will change like we’ve never experienced. Eighteen years of raising our son from infancy to a grown man, having him there in the bathroom every morning brushing his teeth and combing his hair, and sharing laughs on the couch with him in the evenings. School activities and helping with homework, sporting events and teaching him how to drive. Family vacations and father-son outings. Doing practically everything together. Even the little bouts and tantrums. All of that is going to change, and life as we’ve known it will never be the same.
Others have rode those tracks before us, and we are wise to lean on their support and experience, but our own situation is still unique to us. Only you can walk your own path. Nobody else can travel it for you. And nobody can stand exactly in your spot. It is your space alone.
You have your own unique relationships, and only you can see the world through your eyes. Others can empathize with you from their own experience, but they cannot know exactly how you feel beyond their interpretation of it.
And so each stage of our short time on this earth is more than enduring another familiar season or passing through a frequented checkpoint on the journey—and yes, they are those things too—but your life will always present new frontiers that are unique to you, and discoverable only by you.
Do you see your life as “frontier?” What new frontier are you facing today?
Continue on to Part 2 of “Discovering the Pioneer Spirit Inside of You” as we look at why we don’t like to face new frontiers, and how to pioneer through them.