I found myself recently embarking upon a quest, a mission, the outcome of which involves something immensely larger and more important than my personal comfort and happiness. And every time this happens I’ve always gone to the beach, a place, I’ve always found Father God.
”What now?” I asked. ”Where do we go from here?” There was a quiet moment until a thought came to my mind “You just planted a seed surely you don’t expect to grow overnight. Do your part and God will bring the sunshine and water to make it grow. There are other people in your story. God does a million things we are not aware of but it’s for your good and the good of others. It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard. Life is so much more than what your eyes are seeing.”
I started to realize that God brought me here so that He could do something in me. Every area of life — every decision, every calling, every relationship, every dream — we must start with what we think and feel about God.
Do we love him more than anything else? Will we obey him, even when it will cost us? Are we willing to set anything aside for his sake? Will we trust him, even when we want something else for ourselves?
I quote Elisabeth Elliot – ”This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”
We are all players in the living drama going on around us. God has designed us as decision makers in his very image, as agents of the Kingdom, not only to partake in history but to prayerfully shape and direct it in His name. The part we play will depend largely on a clear sense of our purpose and mission, on the level of intentionality in what we do, and on the fortitude and integrity with which we do it.
Our story compared to ”The Lord of the Rings.” Frodo frequently questions why he has been chosen for this utterly dreadful task. But however he might struggle to articulate it, he does feel called, he feels profoundly obligated, to continue his particular mission in spite of the horrendous situations in which he continues to find himself.
And remember, Frodo and his friends have no guarantee, perhaps not even the likelihood, that the quest will succeed. In fact, they seem to be constantly moving toward danger, never away from it toward any kind of permanent safety. The Fellowship’s quest to destroy the Ring—having no guarantee of success but rather an immense likelihood of failure—is not unlike any true quest of life, and perhaps especially true for the disciple and for the Christian community.
All of us has a unique mission and purpose that takes us to the heart of the meaning of one’s life. And whether we like it or not, we are all on a journey, a Quest if you will, every day of our lives, and the path we must take is full of perils, and our destiny can never be predicted in advance. As Legolas says, “Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end.” And, “the question—and thus the Quest—concerns how we shall travel the road and whether we shall complete our errand.” And for disciples of Jesus, like the Fellowship of the Ring, the struggle for the good against the evil requires nothing less than everything—the giving up of our lives—whether sooner or later, whether bitterly or graciously, whether by happenstance or intention.
As people caught up in the Jesus story, we can interpret life truly only from within a larger gospel narrative where we all play a part in the constant unfolding of God’s purposes in his world. We are explicitly warned that there can be no final respite until we reach our final Sabbath rest (Heb. 4: 1–11), and although there will, thankfully, be wonderful resting places along the way, these we can never settle in for too long. We rest only to be strengthened for the Journey.
End of chapter.
So on to the next chapter, ”Rekindled Friendship – The Reconciliation Story.”
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all.