“He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us”Acts 17:26-27
When Hawthorne Cranberry was a teenager he wanted to change the world for Jesus. In his early adult years he realized he was not going to do that, so he thought he would change his own world by earning a lot of money and being respected. In his last few working years Hawthorne realized he wasn’t going to do that either, and by then he just wanted to change his circumstances and rest.
Now Mr. Cranberry is retired and finds the only thing that matters is that he’d like to simply live in the reality of the Truth and somehow share that absolute Reality with anyone who will listen.
I don’t know if you can relate to Cranberry or not? A rolling repetition of dreams and a resigned recognition that the dreams were not to be. There are some, perhaps you, who are disciplined and determined, who dream and achieve. I admire you. It turns out, that’s not Hawthorne Cranberry. And it’s not me, either.
The search for purpose
As I look back, I can see I was always on the lookout for ‘the passion’ that would grab ahold of me and give me my life’s great purpose and blast me into success. I discovered many interests and had an occasional measure of success. But the life consuming passion I saw in others, that I was jealous for, never seemed to appear.
And then one day in mid-life it occurred to me. The passion I had been looking for was there all along, sitting right beside me. I realized that one of the important parts of my life was in fact The Important Part.
Misunderstanding the offer
Perhaps you’ve heard the little story of the guy who found himself stuck on a rooftop during a great flood. Watching the water rise, he prayed, ‘God, please help me!’ Not long after a guy in a rowboat drifted past and offered the rooftop dude a ride. ‘No thanks’, he said. ‘I prayed and God is going to rescue me.’
In a short while a Coast Guard helicopter came by and threw down a rope ladder. ‘No thanks guys, God is going to save me!’ Roof-top dude responded the same after several more offers of help, always boldly proclaiming, ’God is going to be here soon!’
Well, just as you suspected, the waters kept rising and a few hours later our roof-top dude woke up in heaven. ‘God,’ he questioned, ‘what happened? I prayed and felt sure you were going to save me! Where were you?’
‘Look roof-top dude, I heard you! I sent several people to get you to safety, but you just blew them off. So after you refused my help, I decided to just bring you home to heaven instead.’
Finally it’s clear
I kinda think that might illustrate my life-long pursuit to find my life-changing passion.
I looked there and here, and far and near.
Tried this and that, yet there He sat.
Waiting for me to give Him the nod,
to finally realize
‘It is God!’
God is, and always has been, the passion I spent my life looking for. I suspect he may be yours as well.
If you’ve been asking God to give you a passion and to show you your life’s work, and a rowboat passes by with a offer, perhaps you should consider jumping in.