What does it mean to pursue God?
I mean, He’s everywhere, right? So, I shouldn’t have to run very far in order to find Him.
We Americans like to know what we’re supposed to do, we want to “go get ’em” and achieve results.
Somehow, I don’t know that it quite looks like that when it comes to God.
Sure, we can exert some energy, there are some things we can do. There’s activities at church to participate in, programs to enable us to serve in the community, we can lay out a plan to read the Bible; we can even attend conferences and retreats, Sunday school classes, and the like. There’s plenty of things we can do. Is that what we mean when we say “pursue God”?
Many people think of deepening our faith, having a clear understanding of reality and our place in it. We can learn and experience what it means to be forgiven, hopeful, loving.
Is that what we mean?
Sometimes, I think that a lot of things can just end up being distractions. We like clear goals, we like things to aim at, and all of these items give us a sense of something to achieve.
But what if one of the main aspects of pursuing God is just being still, living a life of simplicity so that we are available to respond to Him? Maybe it’s not so much about pursuit as it is about following. Pursuit sounds like a chasing after, like we’re trying to catch Him, like He’s outrunning us and we need to act quickly and exert ourselves to the max in order to apprehend Him.
But following is different. Following doesn’t have this same sense of trying to catch up. Instead, with following, there’s a notion that someone is leading, carving out a path for us, and we just need to do our part to walk that path. If someone is leading us, we respond when they give instructions and direction. There may be times of exertion and also times of relaxation.
Of course, in order to be good followers, we need to pay attention: we need to see where the Leader is going. We need to listen to what He says. We need to be available to respond, to be ready when it’s time to move, time to work.
Did you know that pigeons can’t see very well when they’re moving? They do that head-bobbing thing in order to maintain their vision while they’re walking.
When we get caught up in the idea of pursuit, I think we also can lose track of our vision. We can become fixated upon doing things, so much so that we begin to ignore the Leader, and we forget that we are followers. Our own pursuits take up all our time and energy, so that we’re no longer available to respond when the Leader calls, and we’ve got too much momentum in our own direction to make an adjustment when the Leader moves.
I think we should indeed invest in our faith and spiritual growth. But sometimes, the wisest investment isn’t to pursue with all our might, but rather instead to just sit tight–with our eyes fixated on the Leader, our vision clear, and our whole being ready to respond.