Gasping for air

Gasping for air

There is an old story, I’m not sure of the source, but it concerns a hermit, a reclusive monk, who spent the majority of his life alone in the wilderness near a river. One day, as the monk was meditating by the river, a young man approached him and said, “Master, I have traveled far to find you, and I desire to be your disciple.” The monk responded with a question: “Why do you wish to be my disciple?” The young man answered: “To find God.”
Immediately the monk stood up, grabbed the young man by the neck, dragged him over to the river, and proceeded to hold the young man’s head under the water for a minute or so as the young man thrashed and kicked with all his might.
After a moment the monk helped the young man back his feet. The young man was dripping wet and breathing in the air with large gasping breaths. The monk asked the young man: “When you were under the water what did you desire most?” The young man responded wisely: “Air!” “Very well,” said the monk. “Go home and come back to me when you want God as much as you just wanted air.”
Now I don’t know if that story is true or not. It could very well be just one of those “preacher stories” that we hear every now and then. But even it is just a “preacher’s story,” the truth within it is undeniable.
A lot of people think they are pursuing God, or spirituality, or fulfillment, but there is a big difference between idle curiosity and an all-consuming passion or need for something. When the pursuit takes on the form of a hobby, something we dabble in or read a book or two about, it can hardly be called pursuit. It is shallow and will never satisfy that “need for air.”
When we are really pursuing something, it looks more like an obsession than a hobby. Most of our waking thoughts are consumed by it. We try to steer our conversations with others in that direction. We don’t just read a book or two, but we seek to devour every thing we can on the subject. We realign the priorities in our life to make room for the object of that passion.
So when you think about your own faith, do you think of it as an obsession or a hobby? And if your faith has been more of a hobby for you lately, remember God did not call us to be hobbyists; God called us to be disciples.

Gasping for air,
Pastor Mike

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