Simple Pursuit — Overview
As we walked toward the open meadow, I was about to hyperventilate. I was trying to play it cool, yet I had been imagining this day for months. I was a 21-year-old student at Georgia State University, an urban campus some 2,500 miles away from where I stood.
We had entered the national park mid-afternoon, made the drive up the mountain, and parked at Paradise Visitors Center, 9,000 feet below the summit of this giant in the Cascade Range.
I thought I knew what was coming.
Having meticulously studied this mountain in my GSU Geography 201 lab, I knew what to expect and was prepared to impress my traveling companion with my intricate knowledge of its shape, scope, and features. He had no idea he was traveling with an expert on Mount Rainier!
We started following a narrow trail through the trees, and soon the path opened to a field of blooming wildflowers skirted with a thin layer of snow. We stopped on a ridge above a precipitous drop, with only the split-rail fence separating us from a stunning view of the snow-draped volcanic cone that is the top of Mount Rainier.
Grateful for a rare, clear day, I thought I knew what was coming. But what I saw was far more majestic than I could have dreamed, especially given that my study was based on squiggly-lined topographical maps, not high-definition reality. In a time before the personal computer (crazy, I know), I really didn’t have a clue what Rainier even looked like.
Looking up, I was stunned.
Have you ever been there? No, not to Mount Rainer, per se, but have you ever become an expert about something or someone on paper, yet never seen it in real life?
I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. As the grandeur of the mountain started to sink in, I couldn’t contain the beauty. Within a moment, tears were streaming down my face, and though I tried to avert it, I started to sob.
Understand, this did not create the most comfortable moment for two young guys standing in a flowery meadow on a mountainside, especially given that my friend had no clue why I was so emotional.
I never gave my Rainier Expert speech that day.
The lesson from Mount Rainier became clear to me: there’s a huge difference between knowing a lot about something and truly knowing something.
That night, staring up at the inside of a tent in Coos Bay, Oregon, I decided: I didn’t want to spend my life just knowing about God, I wanted to know Him.
That moment of revelation and conviction changed the direction and complexion of my entire life. Today, the same invitation is extended to you.
The amazing thing about God (a self-sufficient, always-existing, in-need-of-nothing God) is that He wants to be known by you. He invites you to come, to explore, to taste, and to see.
And, incredibly, you can come as high up on the mountain as you wish.
This invitation is central to everything the Passion Movement is about. From the start, we have wanted to see a generation stand in awe of Jesus: to fall in love with the wonder and majesty of who He is. And we have sought to inspire them to reflect that glory to their world.
But how does this happen? It is the by-product of a daily pursuit of Jesus, a steady climb into the knowledge of God that ultimately impacts every dimension of our lives. Our heartbeat has been rooted in the confession of the prophet of old:
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we wait eagerly for you; for your name and your renown are the desire of our souls. (Isaiah 26:8)
Flowing out of this verse we shaped the 268 Declaration, five statements that describe what it looks like to walk out this proclamation as we seek to spread the fame of Jesus far and wide.
The world changes when we change. The nations will stand amazed at Jesus when we walk amazed by Him wherever our paths may take us. So allow your peers (the college-aged generation Passion has sought to serve) who have penned these daily entries to spur you on as you dive into His Word and come to know Him day by day.
He is waiting to be known by all who seek His face.
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