I’ll never forget talking to a friend one time who seemed to have it all but secretly told me he was restless. That he didn’t know why, but he sensed he wanted something more and that he was missing out on something.

As I listened to him talk, I remembered a story I had read in a time when I felt restless in my own life.

The story went something like…

Once, long ago, there was a man who was displeased with his life.
Yes, he had a wife who loved him and two children who adored him.
He liked his work and had friends he enjoyed, but still something nagged at him.
Daily, he found himself dreaming of an unseen place he heard about called “Paradise.”

One morning over a bowl of oatmeal, he stopped dreaming of Paradise and decided to go find it. Without a word to his family, he walked out the front gate with the broken latch, away from the place he had called home and never looked back. He was a man bound for Paradise.

For three days he traveled. And each night, before falling asleep, the man removed his shoes and deliberately pointed them in the direction he had been traveling, toward Paradise. Each morning he carefully stepped into his shoes and continued his quest.

Then on the third night the man accidently kicked his unofficial compass 180 degrees. When the first rays of morning fell, the man leapt to his feet, carefully stepped into his shoes and began traveling in the direction they told him to go—toward “Paradise.”

Exactly three days later, he arrived. “Paradise!” he cried from atop the hill.

Yet, as he stared at the village below, he thought it looked vaguely familiar… but wrote it off as coincidence. He excitedly descended the hill and walked through the village of Paradise where strangers knew him by name. Of course they did! Why wouldn’t they? This was Paradise!

The man continued until he came to the end of the road where there was a gate with a broken latch. He walked through, and as he did, he heard a melodious voice calling him in for dinner and could smell the aroma of his favorite meal.

As he opened the front door the man was greeted by two children who yelped “Daddy!” as they wrapped themselves around him and a woman who kissed him like she meant it.

Ah! Paradise he thought.
Now, every morning the man eats his bowl of oatmeal and revels in his new, wonderful life in Paradise.

I finished the story, and my friend nodded just as I had when I heard it years ago.
I assured him that the desire for Paradise is not itself a crime.

Everyone desires Paradise.
The confusion of where to find Paradise is the problem.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come, My purpose, is that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NIV

‬‬Jesus’ purpose is that you and I experience life, abundant life, right now.

And the reality is it’s not the something more that is going to fulfill us, it’s the Someone more.

The one who is life, Jesus, who wants to fill our lives, with meaning and purpose, also wants to Bless our lives so we can be a Blessing to others.

Paradise is a choice.
It is a state of mind.
It comes from within.
Paradise doesn’t exist a part from Christ and you choose Him everyday.

We all seek significance (aka Paradise):
That we are important, that we matter, that our life matters.

The reality is, you already are.
You are significant, you matter, your life matters.
The only thing separating yourself from the knowing is your perspective.

So today, stop, look and realize the profound impact you’re making in the world today of everyone you meet, but also realize the life you are looking for is not found in attaining something more but it’s realizing life itself, Jesus, is pursuing you everyday.

Maybe today is your day to do a 180 and turn around and realize, the life you are looking for, is looking for you today.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father accept through him. John 14:6

Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”




Chuck life


About cwysongblog

Chuck Wysong is Executive Director at Mission Springs Camps and Conferences. He has served as founding pastor at Life Community Church. He loves church planting and he has served as a youth pastor for 20 plus years in Youth for Christ, Young Life, local churches and Director of Youth Ministry for the Evangelical Covenant Church.
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