My first direct view of Titanic lasted less than two minutes, but the stark sight of her immense black hull towering above the ocean floor will remain forever ingrained in my memory. My lifelong dream was to find this great ship, and during the past thirteen years the quest for her had dominated my life. Now, finally, the quest was over.
So wrote Robert Ballard after discovering the ghostly hulk of the R.M.S. Titanic in her lonely berth more than two miles deep in the North Atlantic. For nearly three-quarters of a century, since early April 1912, the great ship had been celebrated in legend, along with the 1,522 souls who had disappeared with her beneath the icy waters hundreds of miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
On several occasions, the explorer used the same word to describe his lifelong dream: "quest." It means a pursuit, a search, or, as Webster colorfully adds, "a chivalrous enterprise in medieval romance usually involving an adventurous journey."
What is your "quest"? Do you have a "lifelong dream"? Anything "dominating your life" enough to hold your attention for thirteen or more years?
Without a quest, life is quickly reduced to bleak black and wimpy white, a diet too bland to get anybody out of bed in the morning. A quest fuels our fire. It refuses to let us drift downstream, gathering debris. It keeps our mind in gear, makes us press on.
God is forever on a quest too. Ever thought about that? In fact, His adventurous journey is woven throughout the fabric of the New Testament.
One thread is in Romans 8:29, where He mentions that He is conforming us to His Son's image: "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son."
Another is in Philippians 1:6, where we're told that He began His "good work" in us and He isn't about to stop.
Elsewhere He even calls us His "workmanship" (Eph. 2:10).
Peter's second letter goes so far as to list some of the things included in this quest: "faith . . . moral excellence . . . knowledge . . . self-control . . . perseverance . . . godliness . . . brotherly kindness . . . love" (2 Pet. 1:5–7).
Character qualities in His children—that's His quest. And He won't quit until He completes His checklist.
When will that be? When we rest in peace . . . and not one day sooner. Thanks, Lord.
If you think you've arrived, then you probably haven't even started.