As a teacher, counselor, and author, I love what I do for a living. But it hasn’t always been so. I spent a lifetime in Washington, D.C., several years ago. They were two of the most miserable years of my life. I don’t like government, and I abhor politics. Harry Truman was right: “If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.” What in the world was I doing there? I didn’t really want to go; my employer talked me into accepting a transfer. But I can’t put the blame on them. The truth is, I had come to a point where I didn’t really know what I wanted in life. My real passion had been the theater, and for a number of years I pursued that dream with great joy. I had my own theater company and loved it. Through a series of events and what felt like betrayals, I had gotten deeply hurt. I left the theater and just went off to find a job. The Washington offer came up, and even though my heart wasn’t in it, I let the opinions of people I admired dictate my course. Without a deep and burning desire of our own, we will be ruled by the desires of others.
I have met many Christians in the same position. I think of Charles, an attorney in his fifties who still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. There is Paul, a young man in his twenties who doesn’t know what to do with himself now that college is over. He focused on grades and left his heart behind. Jamie isn’t sure if she should get married or stay single. Every one of them has tried to bury their heart under the porch and seek a safer life.
The damage, of course, is a life lost unto itself. Millions of souls drifting through life, without an inner compass to give them direction. They take their cues from others and live out scripts from someone else’s life. It’s a high price to pay. Too high.