Seed of aspiration

My wife and I are entertaining a young Australian couple, friends of our son and daughter-in-law.

The young wife is pregnant and they are about to return home after a year in California and a few weeks helping out at a Christian camp in Ontario.

For us, it brings back memories of our own adventure in Australia 48 years ago. My wife was pregnant and I was without a job when we left Canada for a year in Australia.

We would never attempt it again at our age. But, in our mid-twenties, it was an adventure we would not have missed for the world.

We still travel a lot but for short periods and with a solid bank account to pay our way. And travel and medical insurance to back us up in case of emergencies.

We were talking with friends in a study group recently about attempting something beyond ourselves.

I think there is a seed of aspiration planted in most of us – trying to do something that calls for faith and hope.

This seed grows differently in different people. For some, it is starting their own business without any money. Or, rising from poverty to gain a university degree.

Or, hearing the call of God and giving up something to answer the call.

Many Christians have done that in the past. I have been reading a biography of George Muller recently and am struck by how single-minded he was about doing what God was asking him to do.

He had a comfortable upbringing but he gave that up when he became a believer. And, instead, he lived the rest of his life depending wholly on God as he cared for thousands of orphans in England without ever making an appeal for money. He died with practically nothing.

And, of course, there is the apostle Paul. He heard the call of God in a dramatic way when he heard the voice of God and was blinded by light on the way to Damascus to persecute Christians. That led to his conversion and a life of constant peril – all for Jesus.

He never regretted that call. Toward the end of his life, he said: “For me, to live is Christ.”

As I reflect on this, I believe we need to nourish this seed of aspiration, no matter how old we are.

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