This morning on the way to the gym we listened to a talk by Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales. Big Idea Productions folded a few years back because of a law suit based on the allegation that Big Idea hadn’t fulfilled some verbal contract they’d made with someone. I was really sad to hear this because Veggie Tales have quickly become a staple in the Collie household. (Thanks, Amiee!) The Bear really enjoys them and we enjoy watching him bounce on the couch to the music.

The most important thing I came to understand from Vischer as he discussed the challenging road he’s walked with the end of a dream he felt the Lord gave him was this lesson:

The impact we hope to have does not come when we’re pursuing impact. It comes when we’re pursuing God.
–Phil Vischer

This was a timely lesson for me to hear and remember. Like many of you, I hazard to guess, I hope the Lord uses the gifts and talents He has given me to make an impact in this world for His glory. I hope that I have the opportunity to write words that will challenge, encourage and inspire. I hope that I have the opportunity to speak words that will do the same.

None of this will come about if I’m in red-hot pursuit of impact, and not of Jesus. But if your life is focused on pursuing Jesus, you can’t help but change the world around you. He is found by those who seek Him. He’s the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

My sister had an adorable Jack Russell Terrier named Milli that my Mom and Dad took care of when she moved to California for grad school. Milli was a tiny terror to the squirrels, rabbits, birds, and especially cats in the area. Once she had it in her mind to chase something down, she’d go after it with such tenacity — it was relentless pursuit.

She once chased a cat up a tree and literally ran up into the tree chasing after the cat, until she was stuck and couldn’t figure out how to get down. A bear was up a tree near my Dad’s house one day and she went outside with that same tenacity — growling and barking, all ten pounds of fury. Eventually the Bear came down and she chased it out of the yard!

One afternoon a few years ago, I watched her wreaking havoc in my Mom’s back yard and I prayed: Lord, I want to chase after you like Milli chases squirrels. While she was a little wild and hard to settle down at times, being so focused on a goal that everything else kind of fades into the background is inspiring: that kind of tenacity is a beautiful thing when rightly directed.

If things ever get quiet around here and you wonder what’s going on, hopefully I’m not saying much here because I’m somewhere else in red-hot, tenacious pursuit of Jesus. I hope to have an impact right here, but I know that if my life is about impact, and not about following Jesus, I’ve missed the Bear for the trees.