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The Quest

Remaining True

Be patient-your Quest is a journey

A large part of our Quest is all about maturation. God wishes for us to grow in wisdom and character. As we become the sort of people He desires, we increasingly reflect His love, truth and beauty to the world around us. Such maturation isn't a destination but a never-ending process.

For people raised with electric can openers, microwave ovens and Pentium-co-processor computers, "slow" is unacceptable. When I type in the address of a web site, I want the site to pop up immediately. If it doesn't, I start making snide comments about Bill Gates or Michael Dell! However, nothing in the realm of character maturation transpires overnight.

Growing a human being is not the same thing as building a mannequin. Mannequins may appear to be alive, but they're unreal, plastic and lifeless. Organic growth is a process over time.

Early on in our journey, it can be tempting to become discouraged with our progress. We want to scale the mountain by the end of the week. We want to cross the finish line at least by this time next year! St. Paul had it right, however: the race isn't over until you are dead. So, given this fact of life, don't give up, don't give in, forget what lies behind and press on toward the goal.

So many people are trapped by their past. Somewhere along the pathway, they fell down or left the path altogether for a while. This still haunts them years later, sometimes so drastically that much of their energy and focus is on the past rather than the present and future. However, as Paul learned, it's best to forget the past. If you erred, if you chose to go against what you knew to be God's will, then ask His forgiveness and forget about it.

But success also can bring temptations. We make progress, we grow in a way that pleases us, we attain certain skills that, until now, we thought unattainable. Ahhh, we can now relax! No way. We must continue to press on. There's more to learn and more life to be had.


After writing about the day when Christ would come again, St. Paul said that, in light of the end of days, it is important that we remain steadfast. Some day we will give an account for how we managed and utilized the gifts, talents, capacities and life God has granted us, and we must be unshakeable in our commitment to remaining on the journey.

Steadfastness is a daily resolve to be dedicated to God and life moment by moment. Life is to be lived day by day. Don't fret and worry over yesterday, or presume about tomorrow. Concentrate on abandoning yourself today.

Steadfast people are diligent. They complete projects, finish reading books, keep their long-term commitments and follow through on their promises. Faithfulness isn't proven over a period of months or even years, but over a lifetime.

Solomon wrote that the thoughts and plans of the diligent would lead to prosperity, while those of the hasty would lead to poverty. Please notice: both the diligent and the hasty make plans. The difference is that the diligent person carries them out.

Diligent people are not deterred by difficult circumstances. They don't change their plans simply because some difficulties appear. This isn't to say that we should be hardheaded and stubborn. However, we should never give up easily on our goals or commitments. And when it comes to following after God, how costly that commitment becomes doesn't matter. We should never give up.

Steadfast people are principled people. St. Paul told the Thessalonians that they needed to first prove all things and then hold fast to what was good (I Thessalonians 5:21). This charge was echoed in his exhortation to Timothy, his young disciple, to continue in the things he had learned and been assured of (II Timothy 3:14).

The rigors of the Quest are made easier when we remain true to our principles. Such principles are like foundations that support a building, or like the lodestone of a compass that always keeps us headed in the right direction.

As you reflect on the successful journeys of those who have gone before us, you will be struck with the depth of their conviction. Truth, kindness, goodness, service, compassion, loyalty, faithfulness and other such virtues and values weren't merely words on their lips; they were ingrained in their souls. Nowhere does this appear more evident than when they were given opportunities to succeed more quickly if they would betray one of their principles-which they refrained from doing. Success isn't true if it comes at the cost of pieces of our souls.

Steadfast people are prudent people. Now there's an old, stuffy word: prudence. But its meaning is quite relevant to our journey. Prudent people think and plan and consider before they move. Obviously, such a virtue leads to stability and steadfastness.

To be prudent is merely to have good sense. And it makes good sense to plan for the future. This means-among other things-that you consider how you wish to be remembered after you die. What will your legacy be? What exactly do you want to give your life to, and what preparations do you need to make?

Steadfast people think and plan in terms of their future. Their day-to-day decision-making processes are controlled and managed by their long-term goals, vision and commitments.

My experience is that many people who have made commitments to take the path and follow God, to go on The Quest, at some point forget what exactly they were going after. In the beginning, the vision was so huge and the goals were so motivating, they didn't want to merely walk down the path, they wanted to run. But after some years passed, all they now see is the path, and not the object of the Quest. They have temporarily forgotten who they wish to become and whom they wish to know more intimately. Consequently, in this frame of mind the entire path becomes difficult.

I suggest that once a month you sit down for a few hours and go over the picture or the vision of the person you wish to become. What are the values and the virtues you wish to incarnate? What is the legacy you wish to leave? What kinds of experiences do you wish to collect, what memories do you wish to have at the end of your life? How is your relationship with God progressing? Are there things you could be doing to facilitate your spiritual growth that you need to work on? Once every few months, spend an entire day looking over and refining your answers. Once a year, go off for a long weekend and evaluate your progress.

You only have one life to live. Make it a work of art.a masterpiece for God, for yourself and for your loved ones.

May the Quest be with you!