Chapter 4

Knowing Your Environment

Almost every culture has stories that tell of adventurers traversing wild and untamed lands on glorious quests. It seems that in all of mankind there dwells a latent spirit of adventure, which occasionally rises to the forefront. J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Hobbit, is one such example. Tolkien drew on more classical examples, from The Odyssey to tales of St. Brendan the Navigator. These stories have as a common component the idea of “circumstantial uncertainty,” a phrase used by the American writer Mark Batterson (2008) to describe adventure’s underlying foundation: the uncertainty and unpredictability of life, full of seemingly random and unexpected occurrences that alter our thinking and change our ...

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