There was a young man who wanted to make a lot of money, and so he went to a guru. He told the guru he wanted to reach his level of greatness. And so the guru said: “If you want to be on the same level I’m on, I’ll meet you tomorrow at the beach.”
So the young man arrived at 4:00 a.m. He had on a suit, but he should have worn shorts. The old man grabbed his hand and said: “How bad do you want to be successful?” The young responded: “Badly.”
So the old man told the young man to walk out into the water. It was waist deep. The young man thought: “This old man is crazy.”
The young man said to himself: “I want to make money and this guy has me out here swimming. I didn’t ask to be a lifeguard. I want to make money.
Then the old man said: “Come out a little farther,” and the young man did so.
As the young man was up to his shoulders in water he again thought: “This old man is crazy! He’s making money, but he’s crazy.”
The old man said, “Come out a little farther.”
The young man obeyed, but wavered as if he might turn back.
So the old man said: “I thought you said you wanted to be successful?”
“I do,” said the student.
So the old man ordered the young man to come out even farther, and when he did he pushed the young man’s head under water and held it down. Although the young man fought, the old man would not let him up.Just before the young man passed out the old man raised his head above the surface and said: “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
The young man in the story wants nothing more than to be successful in life. Certainly ambition is not a bad thing, however misplaced ambition is. In all reality, this story is about desire. It is about not quitting. It’s about a dream and your pursuit of that dream. It’s about wanting it bad, whatever the “it” is that burns inside your guts. Most people have an “it” and it keeps them up late at night … whether for good or for bad. Know what? Not all “its” are worth your venture. Not all “its” are created equal. Some are good, some bad. Some are worthwhile pursuits that will reap meaningful rewards and some are filled with bleak despair. Today, I want to tell you about a person that had it all, yet desired something most of us have either forgotten or misplaced.
In the Old Testament book of Psalms we read, “As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42: 1-2).
I am not a hunter, but growing up in Western Pa. I know a thing or two about deer from the enthusiasts that I hang with. In the wild, an animal can become emaciated due to a lack of water and/or food. David is at a low point in his life while writing this passage and draws a parallel between a deer’s desperate desire for water and his own yearning to connect with God. Just as a deer pants after the water brook, David pants after God. See when King David wrote this he was down in the pits and removed from his throne. We both know that King David could have potentially missed a lot of things in his current situation; as King, I would have probably missed my comfy bed, deliciously prepared meals, a Mega-Huge TV to watch the 49ers play and my nightly foot massage. Contrarily, we do not find David expressing a single word of regret as to his absence from his throne. Rather his longing is for fellowship with God. Apparently, David had an “it” and it was the Lord.
Like David, there is something that happens to us when we go through tough times. The trials of life reveal what is beneath our exterior; then our true character surfaces like the morning sunrise. What is below the surface quickly becomes evident to all. This, I am sure you have figured out, is either a good thing or a bad thing for a person. We’ve all see it. Experienced it. When someone acts up and everyone is just sitting around with their jaws touching the floor. Shocked at what we have just painfully observed. Conversely, there are times when a person’s powerful character is revealed that leaves an indelible mark upon us. For King David, his time of pain revealed his deepest desire. To connect with his Creator. Or should I say, to re-connect with Him. Have you noticed that you or I never really miss water until we MISS WATER??? I get the feeling that this was David’s yearning during his crucible. The thing that he took for granted was not near. That connected feeling that brought him a sense of comfort was removed and now David wanted it back –more than anything.
Maybe you have wandered away. You now find yourself in the wilderness wondering what had happened. Where did my foot slip? When did I go wrong? And more importantly, how do I get back? The answer is beautiful in way due to its simplicity. Just go back to the source and drink. Partake. You may have taken 1,000 steps away from God, but He has taken 999 and is looking right over your shoulder waiting for you to turn around and begin all over again.