Tonight my daughter, who is a senior in high school, expressed her confusion and apprehension about her near future for the umpteenth time. Which college? What to major in? What if I miss out on what God wants me to do? Whose counsel should I pay attention to, and whose is only a deterrent from God's plans for me? What am I supposed to do with my life? I remember all those anxieties and insecurities at her age as if it was yesterday. "God will show you, just be patient," people tried to tell me (and I try to tell her), but it was no use because I did not have the history with God to assure me of His guidance and sovereignty in my life.
In his book, Wild Goose Chase, Mark Batterson likens the surrendered Christian life to a Wild Goose chase, with God being the Wild Goose. You just never know where He's going to take you, but it's sure to be a wild ride. Following God is not for those who cherish predictable, safe, controlled lives, that's for sure. And whether just starting out your adult life or embarking on a calling in ministry, either while trying to discern the movements of the Wild Goose, there's always more uncertainty than clarity!
In Mark 8:22-26, Jesus takes a blind man by the hand, and leads him out of his village. Next he does something strange. He puts spit into the man's eyes, lays His hands on him, and asks what he sees. The man responds, "I see people, but I can't see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around." Then Jesus places His hands on the man's eyes again, and this time, the man could see clearly.
This story is a lot like the Wild Goose chase. We start out with no vision, no idea where the call of God is going to take us, no sight as to how God is going to use us in the lives of others. Next thing we know, He takes us by the hand, and carries us out of our comfort zone where He is all we have left to hold onto. Slowly, step-by-step, He opens our eyes to the needs of His people and what He wants us to do.
My friend Harvey and fellow student of the Word, took it a step further: The man is a type of believer who trusts Christ and begins to see, but his vision is still foggy. He is not content with that, he wants more. Many Christians are content to just see "foggy," believing that "foggy" is better than not seeing at all. So, they settle in their fog. But just like this man, some of us want more, we want clear vision. So, we too can have "sharper" vision if we ask our heavenly Father.
I've been on the Wild Goose chase for a long time now, but in the last ten years, I've learned to relax and enjoy the ride a little more. Every step is an adventure of its own, full of joyful expectancy, promising that my days are adding up to something meaningful and profound. And this kind of surrendered dependence, one day at a time, is exactly what God requires of our lives and ministries if we want to be a part of His-Story.
I encourage you this year to surrender fully to the Wild Goose—to chase Him with reckless abandon. It is through this surrender that your trust in God will take root, the fog will lift, your faith and ministry will blossom, and you will find yourself on the greatest ride of your life.
Will you have any regrets for this kind of faith? Absolutely. You will only wish you'd done it sooner.