Everyone in the world is searching. Each of us is searching for something that gives meaning to life. To bring purpose to our work. We all know this; we’re familiar with this emptiness, this longing for more.
We’re looking for a story to make sense of, a role to play that has meaning. Despite our best efforts, activities and adventures barely touch the tip of the iceberg. We sense we were made for a great purpose, some cause to make the world a better place. Maybe it’s as simple as the realization that our lives aren’t a total waste, or maybe it’s something more. Whatever the case, most of us despair of ever finding it. It feels so distant, so unattainable.
We begin life with a simple understanding — that our lives are tales worth telling and we have an important part to play. Children understand this: what it means to live and love without condition, to be delighted in. Their lives are full of reckless abandon and no one has to tell them so. They don’t need to be reminded of the crucial roles; they know intuitively. Without prompting, kids know how to dream up adventure and slay dragons. To embark on epic journeys and live out idyllic scenes. To spend hours in the backyard with nothing but their imagination.
As children, most of us needed no prompting to play, to engage in the grand experience of life.
But as adults, many of us do. Somewhere along the journey we lost our way. We get caught up in the pursuit of trivial things. For some, it’s money; for others, sex or fame. Some get stuck in the cruel cycle of moralism, endlessly striving to be “good enough.” Whatever our fixation, we obsess over it. We give our lives to this pursuit of a promise that eludes us. And we wind up years down the road wondering what happened and why we feel so empty. This happens at age twenty, forty, or even sixty. Emptiness knows no boundaries.
We would do well to remember that this is strictly an adult problem. Children do not wait all year for two weeks of vacation. They don’t spend their lives doing things they hate so they can earn the right to do what they really want. They live life to the full, children do, and somehow we have to regain that innocence.
Something is missing. Something important. Something necessary to making a difference in the world. And most of us are afraid to find out what it is. Because we know. It’s the secret we’re afraid to admit; this will cost us our lives.
Jesus told us this… if you want life, you must die. If you play it safe and protect life you will lose life. God has created us to move into areas that are unfamiliar. To step out of our comfort and security and touch others with His love. To “go where no man has gone before” as Star-trek so kindly reminds us.
As believers we should be willing to go wherever there is pain without explanation, hope amidst despair, redemption in spite of tragedy. That’s where God wants us to be. And, that is where believers — disciples of Jesus — want to be. But to ‘be there’ we must let go of living life on our terms and the whole notion that as followers of Jesus it is okay to be safe, secure, and comfortable.
Once you have experienced an adventure outside your comfort zone and touched a life or lives with the love of God there is no going back. Your life will be changed forever and there is no returning to how life use to be. Your paradigm will have shifted. Your focus has gone from you to them, from church to kingdom. Your worldview is infected with a contagion that spreads to ever facet of your life. You simply will no longer be able to go back to who you were. You will have changed.
This is what the Christian life is really all about. An adventure beyond what we can imagine. And, a purpose to live out that is greater than ourselves. But to live this adventure we must first leave this life — self-centered and egotistical life — dying to self and then learning to serve others outside of your personal comfort zone. To ‘get a life’ as Jesus sees life.
Just a thought!