For the first time in 31 years, I sat and talked with my cousins. We remembered old days, talked about new ones, and rediscovered the links between us. I found myself among people my own age I would like to spend more time with, and it was fun!
As individual conversations drifted towards God, I found their themes reminiscent of my own journey and experience. They spoke of local institutions that continued to show little interest in the person, executives at all levels pursuing their own agendas at the expense of their mandate and calling, and a growing sense of non-relevance to anything connected with daily living. Their words carried a buried expression of thirst; a desire to sense and feel the Presence, a belief full of doubt that the doctrines could make a difference in daily living, and a need to experience unconditional love, grace, and mercy.
Even though our journeys were very different; from an UPS driver, to a demolition expert and executive, to a carpenter, airline attendant, small business manager and owner, and even a naval aviator with CIA experience, the desire to live life, experience everything possible, and win was still the same. For most, the realization that family was the most important had come early in life. Their quests continue on, without a firm destination.
Where are the answers? When will they find what they seek? Can I do something, anything, before they totally give up hope?
For the first question, “the answer, thank God, is that Jesus can and does.” (Romans 7.25) I can be a friend, sharing my experience and my journey. In the end, the choice will be theirs, just as it is yours and mine.
A single question remains. How passionately do we want to know God?
There are too many roadblocks. In my own journey, I face work, survival, religious institutions, old habits, and friends with different agendas. Yet, God is the answer in spite of, and because of everything else. God’s gift to you and I is unconditional. Our choice is the final puzzle piece.