I walked into the small study where he sat, a man well into his eighties, a full head of white hair, plus other typical signs of many years of life on earth, yet fit and spry. He noticed me and rose from his chair, bearing a genuine smile and a sparkle in his eyes that shot through my heart. I was stunned that I felt so compelled to speak to a man I’d only heard of from some mutual acquaintances. They hadn’t even talked about his demeanor, just that he had traveled the world, loved Jesus and loved people. He was the genuine article – someone who had vigorously lived his faith for decades, no matter where his feet had walked or where he laid his head, he lived it.  

After a moment of looking at his eyes, and realizing he was looking even deeper into mine, I began by asking my favorite question: “If you could share with me the three most important things I need to know in life, what would they be?”

 He put his index finger to his mouth for a few seconds, smiled and said, “Let me give you one that is foundational to anything and everything. Are you ready?” he asked. “Sure!” I said. “You must get to the root of desire! We all pursue what we desire, what we want. What is it people want? What is it God wants? Desire is the key! Once we want what God wants, we must pursue it with everything that is in us. This is the only way to fulfillment in life and as a follower of Jesus. You must get to the root of desire!” Those eyes danced with enthusiasm, passion and the desire of an older man passing to me the combined wisdom of eighty plus years as a precious gift, not knowing if I would be a fool and waste it, or take it in, meditate on it and put it to practice. I tell you this, he spoke those words to me one time, sixteen years ago and I have never forgotten them.

 His name? I do not remember. His legacy to me? A living example of how life can be if I will only set my heart, my mind, and my passion on what God wants and pursue it like a thirsty man looks for water. I want that sparkle in my eyes - the genuine passion, the life and breath of God saturating my entire being as I pass through this very brief life on earth. It can be… if I want it.

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