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What are you Pursuing?

What are you pursuing? Is it security, safety, control, or is it wildness, adventure, and freedom?
My heart is stirred this morning after going through a week worrying about my security and protecting what I have built. I am convicted, realizing how much attention and energy I give to control my financial stability, reputation, and what others think of me. I want to protect what I have and be liked by others, so I attempt to control outcomes. But therein lies the problem.
When you boil it down, what do you control? Think about it. What is under your control?
I learned 11 years ago, shortly after my daughter was born that I can not control my kids. It never ends well when I try to control my wife. My customers and colleagues do things that I would rather them not. And I can’t for the life of me get my dog to poop in the designated poop area!
My need to control comes from a place of fear.
Fear drives us to insulate and shelter ourselves from risk, and ultimately your adventure to live.
Risk, by definition, is exposure to danger.
But who wants that?
I argue your heart does! Your masculine heart was made for adventure, for risk! You were not made to cocoon yourselves in comfort, safety and predictability. You are made for more!
That is what our 90 Days together is all about. To name our fears uncovers the wounds that caused them, and courageously step into a life of freedom God created for you.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Gil Bailie
Your false self wants you to stay safe, secure, protected from any danger or risk. Do you know anyone who lives a remotely interesting life by playing it safe, never taking risks? What movies get your heart going? Is the story all about risk aversion, or is it a story riddled with risk and the reward of overcoming?
I’ve always been fearful of boredom. Boredom is the mindless, passive time where I distract myself from presence and calling.
I spiral into sin when I am bored. I scroll through social media, comparing my life to the made-up lives online, and get introspective on what I “should” be doing. The longer I am bored, the more risk-averse I become. I find things that comfort me, that temporarily satiate my deeper longing. Soon I am in a current that builds speed towards destruction, and we must swim for shore if we want to survive. The deeper we sink into comfort, the harder it is to get out.
What is the antidote to boredom?
Adventure! Risk! It’s doing something out of your comfort zone, something that you can’t control.
This is why I love walking with Jesus.
He invites me into crazy things. He challenges me to walk down scary paths. Path’s that I would never take alone that usually make no sense. But every time I say yes to his invitation, it always leads to something beautiful, exciting, and new! He has never lead me astray, and there is no greater adventure than an intimate relationship with Him.
When I try to control outcomes or people, I know I have veered off his path.
When I release control and stay obedient to the crazy thing he asks, everything mysteriously (eventually) falls in place.
What is one area in your life where you are playing it safe? What are you trying to control?
Ask Jesus where he wants you to risk. Where does he want you to “expose yourself to danger?”
The paradox of the Kingdom of God is that the dangerous place God invites you into, is in fact, the safest place you can be.
Here’s to Wildness, Adventure, and Freedom!




Assumption of the Risk: I am aware that there are significant risks involved in all aspects of physical training.  I understand that the reaction of the heart, lungs and vascular system to exercise cannot always be predicted with accuracy.  I understand that there is a risk of certain abnormal changes occurring during or following exercise, which may include abnormalities of blood pressure or heart rate; chest, arm, or leg discomfort;  transient light-headedness or fainting; and in rare instances, heart attack, stroke, or even death.  I should look for any signs out of the ordinary,  including but not limited to excessive soreness, darkened urine, and pain in the kidney areas in the days following a workout. While this type of injury is very rare, it can occur due to many factors that may be beyond the control of PURSUIT/ Garden Church. I understand that the programs and classes offered by PURSUIT are of a nature and kind that are extremely strenuous and can/may push me to the limits of my physical ability.  These risks include, but are not limited to falls which can result in serious injury or death, injury or death due to negligence on the part of myself or other people around me, injury or death due to improper use or failure of equipment.  I am aware that any of these above-mentioned risks may result in serious injury or death to myself and/or others.  

I willingly assume full responsibility for any and all risks that I am exposing myself to as a result of my participation in PURSUITS’ programs and classes and accept full responsibility for any injury or death that may result from participation in any activity, class, or physical fitness program.    

Liability Release: I fully understand that my personal exercise program may be strenuous and I choose to participate voluntarily. I accept all responsibility for my health and any results, injury, or mishaps that may affect my well-being or health in any way. I waive any claims, demands,  causes of action, or any claims for relief whatsoever against, and release PURSUIT (as well Zac Ernst, Garden Church and its owners, employees, or other authorized agents, including independent contractors) from any and all liability, claims and/or causes of action that I may have for injuries or other damages, arising out of participation in PURSUITs’ activities, including, but not limited to the programs and classes. 

I agree that PURSUIT is in no way responsible for the safekeeping of my personal belongings while I attend its programs and classes. I understand that programs and classes at PURSUIT may be physically strenuous and I voluntarily participate in them with full knowledge that there is a risk of personal injury, property loss, or death. I agree that neither I, my heirs, assigns or legal representatives will sue or make any other claims of any kind whatsoever against PURSUIT or its members for any personal injury, property damage or loss, or wrongful death, whether caused by my negligence or otherwise.    

Description of Potential Risks: I understand that no exercise program is without inherent risks regardless of the care taken by an instructor and that my personal safety cannot be guaranteed by my instructor. I realize that when participating in any exercises, particularly those that induce cardiovascular stress, muscular endurance, strength building, and other fitness activities, there is a chance of serious injury, including but not limited to bruises, musculoskeletal strains, and sprains, more serious injuries including but not limited to heart attack, stroke, muscle tears, herniated disks, torn rotator cuffs, or other cardiovascular injuries, or catastrophic injuries including but not limited to death and paralysis.   

Participant Responsibilities: If Participant is able to answer affirmatively to any of the following questions, please consult a physician prior to any  involvement in PURSUITs’ programs and classes:   

  1. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should perform physical activity recommended by a physician?  
  2. In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity?  
  3. Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose consciousness?   
  4. Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?  
  5. Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs for your blood pressure or heart condition?   
  6. Do you know of any reason why you should not engage in physical activity?   

I understand that it is my responsibility to:  

  1. Fully disclose any health issues or medications that are relevant to participation in a strenuous exercise program to the instructor;
  2. Cease exercise and report promptly any unusual feelings (e.g., chest discomfort, nausea, difficulty breathing, apparent injury, etc.) during  the exercise program; and
  3. Clear my participation with my physician.   

Participant Acknowledgments: Agreeing to this exercise program, I acknowledge that my participation is completely voluntary. I understand the potential physical risks involved in the exercise program and believe that the potential benefits outweigh those risks. I give consent to certain physical touching that may be necessary to ensure proper technique and body alignment. I understand that the achievement of health and fitness goals cannot be guaranteed. I have had a voice in planning and approving the activities I have chosen to participate in. I have been able to ask questions regarding any concerns I might have, and have had those questions answered to my satisfaction. I am in good physical condition,                                       

I have no impairment which might prevent my participation in such activities, and have been advised to consult a physician prior to beginning this program. I have been advised to cease exercise immediately if I experience unusual discomfort and feel the need to stop. I have read and understood the above release; I have been able to ask questions regarding any concerns I might have; I have had those questions answered to my satisfaction.

I understand that my medical history is a very important factor in the development of my fitness/wellness program. I understand that certain medical or physical conditions which are known to me, but which I do not disclose to PURSUIT may result in serious injury to me.  If any of the above conditions change, I will immediately inform PURSUIT of those changes. I, knowingly, and willingly, assume all risk of injury resulting from my failure to disclose accurate, complete, and updated information in accordance with this release.   

I hereby certify that I know of no medical problems that would increase my risk of illness and injury as a result of participation in a fitness program designed by PURSUIT.  With my full understanding of the above information, I agree to assume any and all risks associated with my participation in PURSUIT programs and classes.

I acknowledge that I have voluntarily chosen to participate in a program of progressive physical exercise. I acknowledge being informed of the strenuous nature of the program and the potential for unusual but possible, physiological results including, but not limited to, abnormal blood pressure, rhabdomyolysis, fainting, heart attack, paralysis, or death. By signing this document, I assume all risk for my health and well-being and hold PURSUIT, Garden Church, as well as Zac Ernst, other owners, employees, and authorized agents, including independent contractors, harmless therefrom. I understand that questions about exercise procedures and recommendations are encouraged and welcome.           

Indemnification: I recognize that there is risk involved in the types of activities offered by PURSUIT. Therefore, I accept financial responsibility for any injury that I may cause either to myself or to any other participant due to his/her negligence. Should the above-mentioned parties, or anyone acting on their behalf, be required to incur attorney’s fees and costs to enforce this agreement, I agree to reimburse them for such fees and costs. 

I further agree to indemnify and hold harmless PURSUIT, Garden Church, Zac Ernst, owners, agents, employees, independent contractors, and volunteers from liability for the injury or death of any person(s) and damage to property that may result from my negligent or intentional act or omission while participating in activities offered by PURSUIT.  

I have carefully read this Agreement and fully understand its contents. I am aware that this is a release and waiver of liability and sign it knowingly, voluntarily, and of my own free will.