I can’t seem to watch enough documentaries about people who live in Alaska, Siberia, and various other locales where no one else lives but them. I envy that solitude, that fight for survival where nothing matters but food, shelter, and making it through another day. The pettiness of most of our pursuits and desires becomes crystalline and basics become paramount.
In order to chase after a taste of this desire, I love hiking on various mountains across this great country by myself and not seeing people for days on end. To some people that sounds like purgatory, but to me it sounds like pure joy.
I have no desire to ever be known or respected by anyone but my family. I don’t want to be on a stage or have people recognize me. The idea of “rich and famous” repulses me to my core, and everything inside me, humanly speaking, screams to stop when I sit down to write a blog, stand up to speak, or enter a room where large groups of people are “having a good time”. That's partially what I loved about midnight shift as a cop. While most people slept, I would go about my work keeping others safe and they never knew who I was or that I existed or did anything for them.
Here’s the funny thing, it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter what I want. It doesn’t matter where I want to live. It doesn’t matter if I want to disappear and never be seen or heard from again. The only thing that matters as a follower of Christ is to listen to His leading, and if that means I am to write, speak, or interact, I will do it with all that I have.
After many, many hours of watching those documentaries (and various zombie and other apocalyptic movies that depict a similar world where only a few people remain) something interesting struck me.
That is a life wasted.
That is a life where someone would, maybe, find my sundried and bleached bones and then move on with little more than a passing thought about what kind of life he lived. Life only has meaning when we impact others for the eternal cause of Christ. Anything short of that is gone as soon as it starts.
We are, as the Bible tells us, truly a flickering flame, a morning fog, or a wildflower, here today and gone tomorrow. At best, only those in direct contact with us will be affected, and they move on, as they should, fairly quickly, and the rest of the world does not miss a beat, not a step, and traffic resumes its commute as if nothing happened.
That was one of the things that always got me as a cop.
You work a horrific fatal accident, clean it up, open up traffic, and I would watch the faces of those driving by while I wrote my report. They are clueless as to what they are driving over and the images I smelled.
That’s our life. It does me no good to hide in Alaska, Siberia, or any other distant corner of this world, temporally, sure, but not permanently. I must let the love of others trump my human instincts to run and hide. The Great Commission is my primary pursuit, and if that means becoming known so that some may come to the knowledge of the Truth, then that’s what I will do.
Not begrudgingly, but with a passion that drives me past the mediocre and into the realm of all that He has gifted me.
The naysayers, like me, will soon be gone, and it’s only eternity that really matters.
So no matter where you are, a small town in Alaska or a large city in Brazil, impact your world for Christ. Stand up, speak up, and tell others of the Good News, even if you are uncomfortable and want to hide in a dark corner like I do.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8