When I was in my teens, the trend was to ‘do your own thing!’ To drop out, to go find yourself; free love etc.
And so I did!
I dropped out of my job and went to live by the sea. I sunbathed, stayed out late at night, partied and did just about everything else that pertains to a life of ungodliness!
But it didn’t work. I was as much bound in my heart and soul – even more so than before! I still hadn’t found what I was looking for!
And so I tried pursuing a New Age life style. I travelled, meditated, restricted my diet to certain vegetarian foods and I drank only herbal tea or purified water.
I abstained from TV; never read newspapers nor pulp-fiction books. I did everything I could to find an esoteric lifestyle of ‘freedom’ from the pollution of the world without.
But it didn’t work! I was still trapped in ‘Me, me, me!’ – only in a different way.
Some time later, as I began to integrate myself back into ‘normal life’, I found that being relatively normal was actually ok; far better than where I’d come from in the ‘New Age’ lifestyle. But still, there was definitely something missing.
I tried writing about my endeavours to find meaning and purpose through my different experiences. I wrote songs about normal things: unrequited love, romance, fun and sometimes poetic. I became successful in business; had plenty of great friends; enjoyed a life pusuing the normal things of life, and yet, deep down I knew there was still something missing! Like the U2 song:
“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
Perhaps, I thought, If I try to be a better person I might find a deeper sense of peace and purpose. I did charitable deeds – I gave much money away; I helped people by being friendly to them. I offered them a listening ear where necessary.
But, amazingly, there was still something missing!
I became ill – very ill! There I was committed to a business, having various interests that kept me busy evenings and weekends whilst all the time feeling wretchedly ill. It became a ‘nightmare!’
And so I quit! I packed up the business; quit my singing engagements; left town and focussed wholeheartedly on ‘getting-well.’ But, the question nagging away at me was: “Why on earth would I want to be well?” I hadn’t been happy when I was well, neither was I happy being unwell, but at least being ill I wasn’t wasting time, money and energy pursuing the elusive ‘happiness.’
And so, I focussed on being ill!
I read everything I could about my condition: ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,’ or sometimes called ‘M.E.’ I tried various cures, diets and therapies, I spent vast amounts of money, but it didn’t work. And so, finally, I ended up living back at my Parents, being cared for by them. I rested, ate well and felt a relative safety and comfort, which actually did me a lot of good.
One day, laying on my bed concentrating on ‘being well’, I had a thought: I’d remembered there was a family Bible – an Authorised king James version, leather bound with beautiful illustrations.
I rummaged through drawers, cupboards and cabinets and eventually found it in the drawer right next to where I’d laid on the bed.
I embraced the book like it were a long lost friend. I held it close to my chest, tears rolling down my cheeks. And all the time I was shivering with anticipation as I remembered the sheer delight I’d had as a child looking at the pictures and reading the stories.
Carefully I flicked through the pages, observing the elegant page layout and decorative fonts, and then I came upon the picture I’d unconsciously held in my heart all my life. It was of of Jesus, robed in his white linen garments; His eyes a flame of fire – compassionate, loving and kind. And above Him was a Halo effect – identifying Him as the One sent by God the Father to rescue us from ‘ourselves.’
And in that moment, I realised that after all the years of seeking meaning and purpose in life, I’d finally found what I’d been looking for. He’d been there all the while, waiting, forgiving and drawing me back to Him – the Truth I’d long-forgotten!
Twenty years later, I still have definately found what I am looking for.
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