Have you looked into the mirror recently and asked yourself “Who am I?” and “What am I here for?” Come on, you have to admit its a change from checking out the love handles and those buns of steel and wondering if you should detour your life to the gym. Let me tell you about my own journey to find out what I’m here for.
It’s more than a journey actually, it’s My Quest! That subtle difference tells me I’m in search of something rather than just going out for a walk and it’s a word I wouldn’t ordinarily have used except for the gift I’m about to tell you about.
I’ve just completed my first week of a fresh year and I can see that there are still 357 days in front of me but how shall I spend these opportunity vouchers. This afternoon I was asking myself what should I do next. My mind is buzzing with ideas but it seems like I’m sitting in either a waiting room or the transit lounge of an airport. We’ve departed but we haven’t arrived and I want to ‘get there’.
Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103 v 5
My wonderful, adorable, beautiful and most importantly thoughtful wife has again used Christmas as an event to bring clarity to purpose. In the past, she has bought me some poignant gifts like an awesome eagle that stands just over two feet tall and reminds me that we should look at things from on high not the eye to eye level of a turkey. It came with Psalm 103 v 5 in a frame. One year she gave me a pen holder for my desk that featured a globe and plane. It was there to remind me that God appoints and sends with a photo frame and John 3 v 27 John 17 v 18 printed out for me.
God in heaven appoints each man’s work
John 3 v 27
This year Cheryl has reached into my heart and summed up my situation with a simple gift. To the untrained eye, this is simply an ornament of insignificant proportions. To me, it was a golden link in a chain of understanding. In this gift were entrenched the thoughts of a shared life. She understood my dreams, my tiredness, the sorrow at loss and the hunger for a future still gestating in a limbo of preparation.
It’s a little bit funny that this piece is from the Willow Tree collection by artist Susan Lordi. In 2012 I acknowledged Cheryl’s love for the collection by buying her a piece for Christmas, her birthday and our Wedding Anniversary. It seems that the seed has born fruit and she has now picked an item for me. This piece is a picture of stability, an intensity of dreams and thought and a launching pad for the future. It is called ‘Quest’. Susan says it was inspired by her son and the deepness of a person in the study gives me a sense of preparation. Once you’ve read the rest of the blog watch the video of Susan’s work. You will see the makings of my Quest piece in Susan Lordi’s photo.
As you sent me into the world,
I am sending them into the world
John 17 v 18
Quest: Seek, Explore, Discover
On Susan Lordi’s Willow Tree website they give some background to the Quest piece that I have included below. The essence is to look ‘out’ to the future. Anyone who sets out on a Quest will have studied the road ahead or dipped their proverbial toe in the water by reading books, travel guides or exploring websites, photos and videos to create a taste for the adventure. For me, there is so much more to discover and I sense the time for departure is drawing closer. So what do I do from here on?
Keep the dream alive
First and most important is that you don’t shelve the quest. I watched ‘UP’ with my kids last night and it was a gentle reminder to keep the dream alive. Mr Fredrickson had a deep love to support his wife Ellie’s desire to go to Paradise Falls in South America. Although the tragedy of the animated story was that Ellie died before they could make the trip. The beauty of the story was a long-held dream realised. The depth of satisfaction in getting to a goal is unsurpassable and a rich reward.
Soak up the preparation
While you may feel the time in the ‘waiting room’ or ‘transit lounge’ is wasted remember it’s only lost if you put your feet up and fall asleep. There are two things you can do in these times. There is always plenty of reading to be done and that can include websites, audio and video. Absorbing the expertise and experience of others is vital. By talking to fellow travellers either in person or through their recollections, you develop a greater sense of the journey ahead and the path you wish to take. Find someone who can mentor your experience.
Pack the backpack
Now is the time to see what you have and what you will need to pursue this Quest. In the packing, you find what you’re missing so that you will be ready to jump on board the plane, the bus or the camel. As you make your packing list, keep the inventory fresh and ask for advice from previous travellers. Remove anything that will weigh you down and look for ideas that can be folded down to save space. All of this virtual packing makes you more efficient for the road ahead.
For me, my ‘Quest’ Willow Tree piece is a daily reminder of the road ahead. For you, it may be that you should put a ‘map’ on the wall or an enlarged photo of the dream destination. Whatever the dream, pursue your Quest and I will follow after mine.
I would love to hear about your Quest. Can you leave a comment on it below? Enjoy the video from Susan Lordi as well.
Quest was inspired by my son, who is currently immersed in the research and documentation of other cultures. The idea of the figure is to portray that time in someone’s life when he finds something that he is passionately interested in — and begins to pursue it, independently, with no parental prodding. He’s ‘into it’. It’s the love of learning for learning’s sake. Quest represents when a young person (or really, any age person) is motivated by his own interests and goals.
Quest could be a birthday gift or graduation gift, or a thank you gift to a teacher/mentor who may have sparked an interest in a young mind.