Four weeks ago, I was blessed to find out that my inheritance from my Grandmother had come in earlier than was expected. It was well over the amount I thought I had expected it to be and I was able to pay off all of my debt.
In other words, I’M DEBT FREE!
(Ahem. Pardon my excitement.)
So now, I’m sitting in a coffee shop on a very humid day on the north shores of the Outer Banks. This vacation has been a long time coming and it’s a celebration of the laboring that I’ve been doing for the past two years or so to get out of debt. The rest is much needed and I’m happy to be enjoying the fruits of my labor.
A few months earlier, I went to the Storyline Conference in Nashville. Donald Miller, author of books such as Blue Like Jazz (which became a motion picture) and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, taught us a game that writers tend to play called the “What If?” game. At that time, I was unsure of a few things; still unsure as a matter of fact.
But now that I’m debt free, I’ve been given permission to dream, permission to hope, and permission to ask, “What If?” again.
I’m on the third day of my vacation (well, first, really, if you don’t count the two travel days and one lazy day) and I’m back to asking those questions again.
Now that I’m debt free, the “What if?” questions start again.
What if… I wanted to learn a new craft? Start my own business? Relocate to another town? Or another state?
Reading the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, perhaps the early disciples had these thoughts. Back in the day, these men traditionally followed the professions of their fathers and they didn’t move too far from home. Then one day, Jesus comes along and rocks their world.
Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him. (Mark 1:16-20 ESV)
Think about that for a moment: these men, probably no older than 19 or 20, molded to take over their father’s business one day, get a call from GOD HIMSELF to drop their nets and follow Him. They risked rejection from their family and the people of their own towns to do that.
That takes guts – and a mountain’s worth of faith.
These young men trusted in the sovereignty of the Creator of the Universe as He showed them what this life was all about. And even after His death and eventual resurrection, Jesus would find these guys going back to their professions of inheritance because they thought that their time with Him was over. But to paraphrase the famous words of Yogi Berra, it wasn’t over till it was over. Jesus lead them back into the field where many of them would risk (and some would lay down) their lives spreading His hope to the many who needed to hear the Gospel.
I have hope that just because one stage of my life is over that another one is just beginning and that I’m only just beginning to write out the story of my life.
Purpose is waiting. Trust in God and He’ll help us to realize what our purpose is.