In Pursuit

We pursue many things in life….a job, a career, a date, a potential spouse, a degree, a promotion, a toddler, a teenage child (which might be better described as a covert op), a residence. Wow! It seems that our lives could be summed up as being ‘in pursuit‘! However, out of all the things, people, accomplishments we pursue, there is one that should be a top priority….we should desire to pursue a relationship with our Lord and Savior above all. Sadly, there are far too many people whose pursuit of God never goes any further than a Sunday morning pew. Yet, true peace and understanding can only be found as we become close to our Heavenly Father.
 
This makes me think of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. You may know the story well. Jesus was visiting at the house of Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus. I’m sure you know the drill for entertaining visitors. You’ve been there, haven’t you? My family loves the great meals and joyful atmosphere of having guests at our house, but they dread the build up to that arrival date. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you!!?? The Honey Do lists, the cleaning frenzy that ensues, the reorganization of half the house. And then the day arrives and there’s the exhaustion and the distraction from truly engaging as we make sure that everything is just right. Well, that’s exactly what was going on with Martha. She was in the thick of preparations and stressed with getting everything to come together when she noticed that Mary was nowhere to be found. In frustration, Martha went looking for Mary only to find her sitting and listening to Jesus teach. Imagine that! And with all the work that needed to be done! Martha implored Jesus to tell Mary to help her with the preparations. However, much to Martha’s surprise and confusion, Jesus responded in an unexpected way. He said, “Martha, Martha (Can’t you just picture him speaking slowly and shaking his head from side to side!), you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” What had Mary chosen? She had chosen to pursue building her faith by spending time with Jesus over the busyness of that moment in time.
 
What are you choosing? Are you choosing to over-obligate your time? Believe me, I have been there and the struggle is real! I’m pretty sure there were several times, when I was running my kids to basketball, baseball, volleyball, track, show choir, D-groups, TSL meetings and youth activities that I brushed my teeth with hand soap instead of toothpaste in the mornings out of sheer exhaustion. So how do we pursue God in the midst of our lives? How do we avoid the indifferent attitude of “This is okay for me for now.” but, instead, become passionate for what is real and for what builds our faith?
 
Here are a few “In Pursuit” tips that I have found to be beneficial in my spiritual walk:
  • Set aside a dedicated time for personal devotions and guard that time; James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”
  • Engage in an active and passionate prayer time that you deliberately set aside, sometimes this can involve simply turning off the radio when you are by yourself in the car and having a conversation with our Savior
  • Participate in a small group study at church because fellowship and study with likeminded believers can help us grow deeper roots in our faith
  • Connect with a trusted Christian friend and hold each other accountable
Pursuing a relationship with God takes effort on our part, but the building of our faith is so rewarding and worth the effort as we grow and produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and as we personally begin to reflect the image of God with more clarity.
 
Written by Julie Crawford