Finally

This is a repost of a short story from 2003. I remembered it as I was rehashing some of these same themes in my life again. Hope you like it.

"Go here", the man said, pointing at my map. "This will give you what you need." I had been looking for this place forever, and finally I knew I was on my way to the right place. I picked up my belongings and headed down the road. Boy was I tired. I had been on the road a long time. I had never wanted anything so bad in my life. I was tired, extremely weary, but my pace picked up as my excitement did about reaching the end of my journey. My heart began to burn within me as saw the place on the horizon. I had talked to many people, young and old about this place. I read stories of men and women of old who had been there. I sat in seminars and sermons that promised to show me the way. I had searched kind of half-heartedly for a while. Finally, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I left everything I owned, packed up what I could carry, and went on my way. I had been to the cities, teeming with people. Lots of them were on their journey also. I bonded with many of them. I had been in the middle of the forest, where the only light I had was the moon. I had been on top of the mountains, where it was cold and desolate. There was more than one occasion I thought I would not make it out alive. But here I was. I dropped some more of my belongings that were slowing me down on the way. The closer I got, the less I found I needed to carry.

There I stood at the door. Not what I had expected. Maybe that's why it took me so long to find it. Not much to look at. I was expecting a grand palace. But this was not. Not too small. Not too extravagant. Just enough room, it seemed, for everything to fit. And there it said over the door, CONTENTMENT. Yes, this is what I had searched for.

The door was small, it was clear I would have to leave what I still had in my hands to make it through. I pushed open the door. It acted like it had not been opened in a long time. I had to force it open with my shoulder. The door swung open and my eyes took a moment to adjust to the light. There were some people in there, all talking with each other. The chairs did not look comfortable, the floor was dirt, and the air was kind of musty. But I had never seen happier people in my life. Most of them were dressed in rags dirtier than mine, but they did not care. I recognized some of them. There was the couple that could not bear children from my old church. There was the woman who had lost her husband on the mission field. There was the man who God had called away from the woman he loved to the people who were lost. I was tad confused and nervous as I approached the man sitting behind the desk.

"Excuse me", I managed to get out. He turned to face me and his eyes pierced to my soul. His eyes were so kind, like they saw everything about me but did not care.

"Can I help you?" he replied.

"Is this contentment?" I asked, kind of ashamed to look at him.

"Yes" he replied. "It's not what you thought, is it? It never is." "But here with me, you will find everything you need."

I was told I would find it when I searched for with all my heart. I had given everything for it. And this was it? My indignation began to grow. Was this it? I had bled and cried for this? I nearly lost my life for this? I was tempted to give up on it and run back out the door, down the road. Maybe I could still find some of the things I had given up for this. Maybe I could get my life together. Maybe it was not too late.

He must have sensed my fear and frustration. "Child," he said. "You are free to run out that door and reclaim the things that you gave up to enter in. But please, let me help you. You came all this way. Let me heal your wounds from the journey. Let me help you."

Something in his eyes compelled me to stay. We went in the back and he bandaged up my wounds. He helped to ease my pain. I could have talked to him forever. I poured out my heart to him, and he healed the wounds of my heart also. I talked to him and to the others in the room. I did not know where my next meal would come from, or even if there would be one. I did not know if I was warm or cold. All we had to sleep on was the floor. But I did not care, I just wanted to be there with him, for I knew he had it all I under control. I did not want to ever leave. Sometimes I thought about my old life, but it just made me sick. But hearing his voice as he taught us, made me forget about it.

People came through the door, every now and then. Some stayed. Some ran back out the door. My heart would hurt for them. It still does. To think that there are people out there that do not know this joy. It pained my soul. We did everything we could to let the outside know what joy they could know, but they just did not believe it.

I never found what I was looking for. I found something better. I found something more fulfilling. I found something far beyond my wildest dreams. My prayer is that my old life will continue to make me sick. That I will despise it. That I will simply trust in him who provides all my needs. I love you, Jesus. Everything I need comes from you. If I sleep in my car, if I don't have a job. All I need is you. All I need is you.

Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

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