Thursday, January 10, 2002
If you happen to watch the Discovery Channel on cable TV, you can end up seeing some real "reality TV" - including some pretty unusual fare. How about this one, "The Search for the Giant Squid"? No, that is not an adventure flick - it was a documentary about one scientist's quest to film what no one has ever filmed - the giant squid. For the whole hour, the viewer follows this man's almost lifelong pursuit. You watch as the likely target area is identified -- as an expensive expedition follows clues that seem to be leading to the elusive prey - the giant squid. But at the end, you find out you got sucked into an expedition that ultimately failed to find what it was looking for.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Long Search for That Elusive Goal."
It's disappointing - a long search, an expensive search, that ends up not finding what it was looking for. For many of us, that could be our life story. Maybe yours.
It could be that you've been on your quest since you were a teenager. You've been through a lot of relationships since then -- sampled a lot of experiences -- maybe enjoyed a few achievements along the way -- even found a pretty respectable status quo. But you still haven't found what you hoped you would find by now. In spite of all the places you've looked, you still can't honestly answer the million dollar question, "Why am I here?" You still haven't found what will give you the love you need and fill that hole in your heart.
At the peak of her fortune and fame, with 146 tennis championships behind her and married to John Lloyd, Chris Evert said this: "We get into a rut. We play tennis, we go to a movie, we watch TV, but I keep saying, 'John, there has to be more.'" Maybe you know that feeling. The good news is: there is more. Much more.
In John 4:13-14, our word for today from the Word of God, Jesus is talking with a woman who has been searching for a long time. In her case, her search has taken her into a series of unfulfilling relationships with men. Since they meet at a well where they have each come for a drink, Jesus puts his diagnosis of her restlessness in these words: "Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become a spring of water, welling up to eternal life."
Jesus says that all our earth-sources of love and meaning are wells we have to keep going back to for more - and they never satisfy for long. But what He offers is a relationship with Him that puts the source inside us where it can't be touched, where it will never leave us thirsty again.
That "eternal life" He promises did not come cheap. We're searching because we're away from our Creator - not by His choice, but by ours. We've done our life our way, not His way. And the only way the wall between Him and us could come down was for Jesus to pay for the sinning you and I did - by dying on the cross for them.