My sandaled feet leave tracks in the dust. The sun is heavy on my head, weariness cloaks my body like the robe I’m wearing . . . . and yet I’ve never felt more ready for adventure. I’ve been on Emmaus road, talking with Jesus, and my heart is burning within me. It’s almost 2:00 a.m. and I’m going to work in the morning, but I have to write all this down while the words are fresh.
I think I have turned into some kind of sensible paper doll. I cut my hair, no longer clinging to that ponytail like a Rapunzel wannabe. I got a solid, fast-paced job. I work hard at everything, I’m responsible, and I’m getting used to life in the “real world.” But tonight I find myself questioning my motives for this drivenness; the reason I do the things I do. And I have found more questions. Here are a few:
Why am I alive? Where am I headed? Am I content to allow my job-perfectionism to become an obsession (and eventually, my identity)? Is this real, this sense that God has something greater planned for me than anything I’ve yet dreamed? Does it really matter, all these trappings of everyday existence? Have I forgotten what’s really important? Who is this voice, chanting inside me steady as a heartbeat – wake up, wake up, wake up?
Pride: Enemy No. 1
This paper doll I mentioned: she has to go. I can’t stand her anymore. She’s vain and pretentious. She replays her triumphs to herself. She has pictures of herself hanging on all the walls inside her head. She forgets that God has given her all her gifts and won all her battles. She forgets everything but her own interests.
I hate pride. I hate what it does to my vision. I hate losing sight of the Lord’s desires. But when I searched, I found Him waiting patiently for me on Emmaus road, right where I left Him when I decided that I needed a little more attention and Jesus a little less. The God who “resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” is also quick to fix what’s been broken; to restore what’s been lost. All you and I have to do is give Him a chance.
Wake up, O sleeper. What you’ve been living for–the accolades, the appearances, the thrills, the flirtations with people and money and idle daydreams–it’s all smoke in the wind. Before this is over, you’ll see just how little it all means. The world is ripe for harvest and the job is too big to waste time. Ask the Lord for something to fight for, and fight for it.
Accept the Calling
But maybe you’ve been seeking that purpose a long time. Maybe you’d have no problem believing, if you just knew what to believe for. God solved this conundrum before I even asked it of Him:
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. If you or I need a vision, and the faith to believe for it, we must sharpen our hearing. And to do that, we must go to the Word daily. Doing so has caused my dreams to come ever more sharply into focus.
We’ve got to seek the Lord about our part in this great plan of His; for our position in His army. And we’ve got to hear the answer with courage. He loves us, and if we go His way, He’ll take us to heights we thought we could only reach by going ours. I sense that in my case, I’ll eventually trade my tired, old pursuits to sail a wild sea with my Savior. I won’t let fear get to me, because He makes obedience the adventure of a lifetime. In history, the lives of great men and women of God were lives of obedience. William Wilberforce is the one on my mind right now, and though living that way may have seemed fruitless to him more than once, he reached victory. That kind of story is not something God intends for us to recall wistfully, as a torch we can never fan back into flame. No, the callings on those peoples’ lives were meant to spur this generation on to even greater deeds. Don’t be intimidated–be motivated. Refuse regret, and hope with all your heart.
Let Love be Your Road Map
Again, my heart burns within me. It’s not an overstatement. It’s what love feels like when it’s allowed to break free. I remember God asking me to make room for the people and places tapping wistfully at the door of my heart. Think about that. Can it be that a human being can stretch his own heart? Can you really have divinely bestowed passion for all kinds of people? Different walks of life? Different countries and continents? Even for (in my case) different ages of history? All at the same time?
Why would God do that? Why would he make us so complex inside and then tell us we can handle all that love without exploding?
I guess it’s because . . . . we can. And I think we’ll find, when all’s said and done, that the love which seems to lead us in a thousand different directions actually takes us neatly across the map to our glorious destination. So make room in your heart. Coax your love into flame. Let it burn.