Sunday Morning Musings: Pursuit

(Better late than never!)

When I met my husband, it was undeniable that he was the one for me.  Here is how it was: he would walk in the room and I'd catch my breath.  He'd talk to me and I'd struggle to speak coherently while trying to discretely mop my forehead.  He'd look at me from across the room, and I'd run into a wall.  I'm telling you, I was a jittery ball of electrified nerves around him.  So you see, I really had no choice but to say yes to a date, and then to another, and another.  And bam!  Here I am, some 7+ years married with two little crazies running around! 

I was thinking about how easy that first part of a relationship is, so overflowing with goodwill and passionate pursuit of the other person.  You listen so carefully.  You think about them all the time.  You consider what will make them happy.  And then.  Life happens and it gets harder to be so passionate about this amazing person (especially once you find out about that clothes-all-over-the-floor habit.)  I was thinking about women (seems to be women in particular who offer this lament) who talk wistfully of their dating period and the look sadly at their spouse, who looks up blankly from his dedicated perusal of Monster Truck Weekly, and says "What?  What'd I do?". (Not based on actual events! :))

So, all that to say, as all this was running through my head, I realized it can be like this with God.  If women too are created in his image, they will reflect God's longing to be in intimate relationship with us.  He doesn't want to just hang out with us, although he surely enjoys that too.  He wants us to pursue him, to be full of passion when we interact with him, to be purposeful about pleasing him in our lives.  As with everything, even our prayers can become rote and mechanical, but think how it feels when your loved one says automatically, "Love you too," without really engaging with you.  The words are there, but they are empty and leave you sad.  I think this is how it is with God too.  The psalmist does not pray, "Oh God, please let me have a good day, please protect me, please let my food not be too hot."  Blah blah blah.  Whether praying from a place of peace and joy, or from a place of desperate need, the psalmist prays with passion:
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty.  I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord.  With my whole being, body, and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.
Psalm 84:1-2
Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer, answer me, for I need your help.  Protect me, for I am devoted to you.  Save me, for I serve you and trust you.  You are my God!  Be merciful, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly.   Give me happiness, O Lord, for my very life depends on you.
Psalm 86:1-4
But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law.  They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail.  Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.
Psalm 1:2-3

That's a far cry from a "me too" response.
So if you find yourself feeling dry even though you are doing all the "right things," consider your commitment level.  Are you going through the motions, or are you passionately pursing relationship with your creator?  Are you checking "prayer" off your to-do list, or are you eagerly anticipating your time with God?  We usually know when we are being appeased rather than truly loved, and you can bet it's just the same for God.


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