Finding Your Quest
A Quest, by the medieval definition is: an expedition made by a knight to accomplish a prescribed task. There is a great amount of adventure, daring and excitement in that short definition, and in the depths of every person there is a desire to take a quest. Quests, are not, specifically, all the same, but each person has one. We, as Christians, know we have a Quest given by the King of Kings (Mark 16:15), but He sends each of us out, in different capacities, to accomplish the same goal. Do you know what your Quest is? Are you living your Quest?
Here are some key features of a Quest:
Quest can arise from tragedy or life changing moments.
More often than not a person finds their quest and calling amidst great hardship or in extreme life-changing moments. For example, The Apostle Paul was a persecutor of Christians and hunted them down with vigor. He had a life changing moment on the Damascus road, and thus, his life radically changed and his Quest began (Acts 9:1-8). Many full time missionaries will likewise tell you, that they too had a life changing experience, most likely while on a short term mission trip, and therefore decided to make a difference full time. Maybe you are going through a divorce, loss of a job, a crisis, or are deeply disillusioned with your place in the world? If so, take faith, because these moments of hardship can also lead to times of great rebirth and the beginning of a quest.
Quests are not comfortable, but if it’s a true quest, you don’t care.
Many times people look more at what they might lose on a quest rather than what they might gain. This makes a person indecisive and fearful. Fear is natural, but when fear controls your decisions the quest is already lost. When you embark on a true quest your heart is filled with the wonderment, strong faith and believing the best is yet to come. You will face hardships, and at times, be assaulted with the nay-sayers who suggest you made the wrong choice. But as you stay strong, the still small voice in your heart will keep you moving forward. Discomfort and materialistic sacrifices won’t affect you, because as you are free from such worries. You are on a different mission and have left the pleasures of this world to seek something deeper (Philippians 3:8).
Quests will inspire others.
There is something contagious and inspiring about a person not beholden to the same wants and desires of this world. People want to feel free and live a life of purpose. When they see others doing it, they become inspired to find their own quest. You will be amazed at how many people will ask you how you did it, or what advice can you can give them. You will be put in a position to support and build the dreams of others. When this happens, give back and encourage those who are inspired to begin a quest of their own.
No Quest is too expensive.
Most of the time money is the restrictive force that holds people back from taking a quest. Money is a legitimate concern. But when you come down to the brass tacks of it, if you are resourceful and motivated you will find a way. For example, we took our first, round the world mission trip, in 1998, for a total of $7000. One-Year, over 20 countries, and only for $7000 for all travel, food and living costs. On that journey we learned how to barter, find cheap accommodation, hitch-hike, live in villages, eat one meal a day, become streetwise, and see the world for cheap while ministering everywhere we went. These experiences changed us and molded us. It not only taught us that when you believe it can happen, but that life isn’t about materialistic pursuits, but rather, about living the quest God had given us. This was all before we even documented one episode of Travel the Road. But imagine if we would have quit on the idea of the mission field because we thought it was too expensive. Don’t let money control your dreams. Just work with what you have and be resourceful. Finances will come, but you must first dare to believe by taking action. He who is faithful in little will be faithful in much (Luke 16:10).
Quests might not be evident right away.
Many times people think they should know their specific quest immediately. But that isn’t so. Especially in overseas missions. Your quest will be formed by who and what you are surrounded by. If those around you are only focused on the mundane and trifling things of the world, then this will rub off on you (2 Tim. 2:4). You need a moment of great reflection, or to set off on a time of discovery to hear what the spirit of God is speaking. This means more than just a 5 minute prayer, but actually making your discovery time important. If you are interested in missions, then take a short-term mission trip. See if your heart is impacted by a specific area or region on that trip. If so, great. If not, keep searching until you find your quest. This can be an exciting and fun period that is full of spiritual growth. You cannot find what you are looking for if you are not brave enough to venture beyond your known world.
False Quest are a terrible way to live life.
Sometimes, people will take a Quest they have no love or passion for. They will only take such a quest because it seems like the right thing to do. This is a sad existence and born from the desire to do something that is pleasing to men, rather than what is pleasing to God. Unfortunately, this is how missions has been portrayed to the church. Meaning, missionary work is largely thought of as a sad life of sacrifice in a foreign land, but good and noble work that someone should do. Don’t enter missions if you feel this way! Moreover, since missionary work has largely been portrayed like this, we can see why parents and loved ones wouldn’t want their children to do part-time or full-time missionary work. Who wants their child to have a miserable life in a foreign country? Instead, missionaries need to enter the field with the thought that their life is going to change, that they will see the power of God, that they will be educated in a way only travel can teach, that they will learn boldness, that they will grow strong, be healthy, touch many lives, that they will never go back to chasing after the things of the world (Luke 9:26), that they will see things only others talk about on their bucket list, that they live life fully while they are young and able, that they will inspire others and make an impact for the Kingdom of Heaven--in short that they will live a true Quest and a joyful life.