What does it mean to seek God?
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells the assembled crowd of seekers, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV) He was speaking about the things we normally seek—a nice house, a good job, stuff, fun, good health, a wonderful little restaurant that no one else has discovered yet—and he reminds us seekers that our priorities are wrong. If we seek God first, everything else falls into place.
Later, lamenting the generally dismal state of human affairs, Paul quotes the Psalms when he says: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. —Romans 3:10,11, NIV
Is it just me, or does that seem a bit strong? Maybe Paul hadn’t had his coffee yet? “No one seeks God”?! Should I feel insulted?
I stumbled on a nicely-written essay on that subject by Rebecca that she calls
Whole Lotta Seekin’ Goin’ On? Rebecca says that even our God seeking turns out to be God avoidance, and I think she has a point. Not that it’s pointless to seek God, but that we give ourselves too much credit at times. We don’t yearn for God; we don’t seek him with all of our hearts, and all of our minds, and all of our souls.
If you haven’t read it yet, my friend Bruce’s essay on this site, In Gratitude for Swallowtails, considers some of the same questions Rebecca is asking.
I suppose it’s like this: when I was learning pole-vaulting in junior high school, with an aluminum pole, no less, I was always pretty satisfied that I’d managed to get over the bar at all. The pole would hit the socket and the shock would reverberate up through my hands and I would swing myself up and twist and turn and shove the pole back while falling just right on the other side—there was a whole lot of hard work goin’ on. My goal was just to get over the bar.
But the coach… He always thought I could go higher. Lots higher.