Living in LA, everyday I see people chasing things. I’m no exception, about three years ago I came out here chasing a dream as well. For the first year I lived here, I very cliche’dly worked many different jobs supporting my dream of becoming an actor/musician/writer. One of those jobs; was being and extra in movies and TV shows. Before I got to LA, I always thought this would be a very exiting way to make money, some of the time it was. But, what many people don’t know that working as background on a movie, is not all explosions, special effects and movie stars. Most of the day spent as an extra, occurred next to the snack table surrounded by a group of other extras waiting for lunch. When you had hours in-between shots, the way you would pass the time would be to talk with people. what I found out very quickly is that It seemed that everyone else had come here chasing dreams as well.
When I first got to Hollywood- I would be on set, or at a restaurant, or church, I would meet someone and ask them questions like. “Where are you from” “What do you do” “What have you done” And things like that. But now, after spending a considerable amount of time out here I think I am going to begin asking people a different question. Something a little more direct. “What are you chasing?” I’m sure I will get some weird looks, but I think it will help boil down past the pleasantries most stand behind. Out here, if you posed a question like this, and asked for complete honesty, you will undoubtedly find answers like. “I’m chasing fame” “I’m chasing respect” “I’m chasing money” “I’m chasing love” Which should be no surprise to me finding answers like that, considering it being such a self centered world. But, to be fair, I don’t think it’s just Hollywood in which people are chasing things. I think everyone, everywhere is chasing something. You, are chasing something. We were made to.
God put in us a spirit to chase, to have ambition and seek out the things we are passionate about, God made us to chase him. But somewhere along the way we stop chasing God and start chasing other things. They’re not always even bad things, sometimes we are simply chasing love, or security. Longings that God him self has put in us. But, I think the failure to chase the creator of love and security and simply chasing the feeling- can lead us down destructive paths to places and relationships we can’t find the way out of.
I see this played out daily. As I grow up a little more each year it becomes more and more apparent in mine and peoples behavior. Every night when go turn on the TV, and see one more girl taking off her clothes for TV show ratings. Then, quickly change the channel to the news, and see one more powerful man, caught in a web of his own lies, ruining his life and the lives of those around him, just for money. Or, I will read about a star who overdosed on drugs because even the ‘good life’ didn’t numb his pain. Or hear the very real fact that where I live in the San Fernando Valley; There is more pornography made here, the anywhere in the world.
When I let theses things sink in, I start to wonder how these things could possibly happen. How and why do we end up, selling our dignity, start loving money more than people, give up on life and even sell our bodies for a few dollars?
I think the answer to HOW we end up in these places, are the things we CHASED there. Maybe we had no idea we would end up in those destructive life ruining places when we started chasing attention, money, relief and love. But now that we’ve arrived there, we can’t get out. So, is there any hope for us?
God is the creator, redeemer and lover of all, and there is nowhere or place he can’t find us and make us new. I think if we have found our selves in a place we don’t like, or, even see our selves stepping in directions we didn’t think we ever would and want to get out or avoid hurt and pain, we must start chasing Jesus, the one who created perfect love, security and self worth. But, for that to happen we have to be willing to stop chasing everything else in our lives and begin chasing only him. When we do this we will start to see all the things we were looking for in the first place, but could never find, come in the ways they were always meant to.
In the pursuit of the creator we will find we are on the path that leads to life. God wants to give us the desires of our hearts but He also knows the way better than we could ever know on our own. So, when Jesus becomes the desire of our hearts, we’ll will find our selves more loved, more satisfied more content than we could ever imagine. Because only in the pursuit of him will find what we are truly looking for.
So I encourage you to ask yourself, “What am I chasing? Why? Where is it taking me?” And maybe if your up for it, try chasing the creator of every good thing, and just see where He might lead you.
When I was nineteen I had just moved to NY chasing a dream, shortly after I arrived God asked me the question, “Are you going to chase your dreams and desires, or are you going to chase me and the dreams and desires I have for you?” I chose to chase God, I am not perfect and I trip often, but nothing will stop me on my pursuit of him. After that I began writing a book Wisdom Chasers, a collection of essays formed into a bible study, pondering what it looks like to live a life in pursuit of Jesus.