I used to think that life was about finding the ONE thing you were passionate about. The ONE person who could complete you. Your soul mate. Once you found your passion, you were to embrace it and run. I’ve mentioned it before, but in a past life, I was a musician. For years, my life was consumed by figuring out a way for music to work full-time. Finding a way to become successful through this thing I loved so much. I didn’t realize it then, but my happiness hinged on the progress of my music career, which was basically non-existent. I was trying SO hard to make something happen. To create a career out of thin air. My biggest fear was that I would miss the ONE opportunity that would launch me into the stratosphere. This way of thinking was killing me. Any musician will tell you that the music business is like a rollercoaster. Some days you’re up and some days you’re down. Imagine if your emotions followed this pattern. Maybe some of yours do ;) In any case, it makes for a very stressful, very unfulfilled life. You are constantly redefining success and failure, in a never ending attempt to reach the dangling carrot, so to speak.
When I was single, I would ask God, “Who do you want me to marry? Where is she?” I would scan our Campus Crusade college group of 1,200 people wondering who the future Mrs. Avila would be. I wouldn’t want her to walk out the doors without noticing me, for fear of a lifetime of solitude. Lot’s of people would tell me, about both music and women, “once you give it up and give it to God, he will reveal it to you.” It was like I had to trick my brain into thinking that it wasn’t important, call it “giving it to God” and then eureka!…women and record deals would start falling from the sky. Isn’t this the way we are. We try so hard to convince our minds of something, torturing ourselves over two options, meanwhile God is trying to tell us that we are completely missing the point. Well, eventually I had a revelation.
One night, completely distraught over my situation, both musically and relationally…I asked God for some answers. I felt like a 50/50 split between the Hunchback of Notre Dame and William Hung. I remember asking God something like, “Just show me the door, and I’ll walk through it.” Immediately after the words left my mouth, a deep realization hit…followed by the peace that tells you there is some truth to it. It was like God was telling me, “Maybe there’s not just one door. Maybe there are six.” God was telling me that he would bless any of the six doors. He just wanted me to walk, to DO SOMETHING. The door I chose wasn’t as important as the man I became after walking through. There isn’t some mystical power that governs our life, leading us down a road that doesn’t allow for detours and off-ramps. It’s not as if we can sabotage our lives without realizing it. Missing the one door that would have led us into complete happiness and satisfaction. I had forgotten that I’ve chosen to follow a God that is bigger than my mistakes – that is able to turn mourning into dancing and work together all things for the good.
Turns out music wasn’t even what I wanted for my life. But at the time, you couldn’t have convinced me of any other career path. Turns out that I married a woman twenty times better than I imagined. Fifty times better than any other woman I’d ever had my eye on. My life doesn’t look like the roadmap I had drawn out when I was young. I had written in a series of open doors. Sure there was no room for error, but there was also no room for the majesty of God. There was no room for Him to bless my errors and to show me the potential of the other five doors.