Before I became a Christian, I was a young, fiery 19-year-old who just knew that someday he was going to rule the world. I had grandiose plans for my life and my future that involved me being a world touring musician, a beloved icon of culture, a respected philosopher (pfft), whatever. All I knew was that I was going to make it big somehow. In fact, I can remember one of my last MySpace posts being something to the effect of “I will not leave this earth without the whole world knowing my name.” My mind was set on success and I was going to achieve my dreams.
The only problem with this was that my desires had only taken root in my mind and not in my heart. I was doing nothing to contribute to achieving my goals and in reality, the things I was involving myself in were only hindering me from the pursuit of my dreams. At one point, I had no job, no home, and no hope of ever getting myself to where I wanted to be. I spent my days playing video games, partying, and hanging out with friends. I did these things because I didn’t know what else I could do. I was simply wandering. Wandering through life aimlessly.
Then I met Jesus.
And I was still just as aimless as before.
I had a powerful encounter with the living God that changed my life, changed my hopes, and changed my dreams. I didn’t want to be king anymore, I only wanted to serve the King. I desired to be as faithful of a servant as I knew how and I committed myself to the cause of Christ and His gospel. But yet again, I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t sure how to achieve this. So I wandered.
I got a job working nights at a hotel in my hometown of around 3,500 people. Now, you don’t know the meaning of “free time” until you’ve worked nights at a hotel in a no-name town in the piney woods of East Texas. From 10:00pm to 6:00am every day, I sat. Just sat. Every now and then someone would come straggling in in the wee hours of the night to get a room, but when it’s that late, people aren’t usually in the most talkative moods and those encounters were just as exciting as they were memorable, and I remember none of them. I worked this job for a year and I can remember feeling that same burden of aimlessness that I felt before, wondering what I was going to do with my life and how I was going to please the Lord.
With all this free time and nothing better to do, I decided to take up a new hobby. I began to read. I started with the Bible and read the entire New Testament in a week. Then a friend loaned me a copy of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology and in two months I had finished the whole thing. Night after night I sat on the computer and read every single article on gotquestions.org that I could click on. When I finished with that I went back to the Bible and started to read it prayerfully.
And I wandered.
I wandered through this new world that had been unfolding before me; a world of glory, beauty, and splendor. There was a hope that stretched beyond the horizon of my future and painted the atmosphere of my life with such vivid and vibrant color. I trekked across a city called Assurance whose foundations only kept getting firmer with every step I took. I swam in oceans of peace and love whose waves were never too strong to drown me, but always enough to overwhelm me. I tasted wisdom that was sweeter than honey and more valuable than gold. I saw mountains tossed into the ocean and dry bones made alive again. And in all this I was never alone, I was led by a Man who was clothed in such majesty that the skies, cities, and oceans lost all their appeal when He showed up.
What I thought at the time was a wasted year spent working at a dead-end job with no opportunity to make any kind of lasting effect on the Kingdom was actually the most formative year of my entire life. I learned and experienced more of Christ in that year than I ever have since. But it’s only been now, looking back, that I’ve been able to see that. If only I knew then what I know now.
If you have found yourself in a season of wandering, don’t waste it, take advantage of it. We are responsible for making the most of every single day that we are alive (Ephesians 5:16). There is a blessing in this wandering if you will receive it. Perhaps the Lord has led you to this. It could be that He has stripped you of everything that’s been preventing you from exploring the riches of His word. Perhaps He wants you to pause and spend some time beholding the beauty of Jesus. We were created to marvel at Him and His creation and at times the Lord may see fit to free us from any distractions that interfere with our purpose. Time spent wandering is not wasted if we spend it pursuing Christ, and by doing so you can redeem even the most uneventful stages of your life.
When you don’t know what to do next, when you’ve run out of options, just wander. It’s ok.