Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Passionate Pursuit

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  ---Psalm 63:1

Now that I am feeling SO much better, God is teaching me new things about life and not just how to deal with my illness.  So, I guess I’ll share those thoughts too…

I have learned a lot about my relationship with God through my relationship with our newest family member –

Gator came to us a month ago when he was 7 weeks old.  He was the twins’ birthday present. I did not want the dog, didn’t care if we had a dog, and quite frankly was a little put out by having another “thing” to have to care for.  But within three days I was completely smitten.  Not because I was drawn to him, but because he was drawn to me.  

All four of us (the human Gregorys) can be in the yard at the same time and Gator will be at my side following me, wagging his tail for me and not taking his eyes off me.  If I call him, he comes.  If anyone else calls him, he may come, he may not.  When I walk outside, Gator drops anything he is doing and comes running at full-speed toward me.  He doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t run away, doesn’t wonder why I’m there.

We installed an electric fence to keep him safe in the yard.  When he knows that I am on the other side of the fence, he will take the pain of the shock and get to me.  We bought a different collar (one with a bit more “zip” in it) – do you think he cares?  Nope – walks right through it if he knows he can get to me.  He doesn’t do that for any other family member; just me.  Because he was “breaking out,” Jonathan put more fencing in to secure one area of the yard better.  I walked around the corner yesterday and Gator had run through the shock (the newer “amped-up” version) and risked all to climb that fence and fall to the other side.  He made it over to get to me.

He is in passionate pursuit of me no matter what – if he’s playing with his favorite toy, eating, sleeping, gets shocked or risks injury.  

What if I pursued God in this manner – with reckless abandon, putting Him before all of my tasks, dropping everything to acknowledge His presence and behaving as though there is no other person around when He is near?  I know that’s what He wants.

Here is a God who loves me more than anything and I often put anyone and anything else before Him.  It’s just too easy to get caught up in life and give God the “hang on just a second” gesture while we finish doing what we’re doing.  When we see God or hear God we should take off running – passionately pursuing Him, no matter the cost or risk.

I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.  ---Psalm 61:4

Last night there was a terrible storm – thunder and lightening – the first rain Gator has seen since he’s lived with us.  I woke up at 10:40 to his cry.  I went out to find him shivering on the back patio.  With the wind coming from all directions he couldn’t find a dry spot.  I got his crate away from the edge of the patio, poured out the water, dried it out, put some towels in it, dried him off, gave him some love and went back inside.  I watched him curl up in his little crate and go to sleep.  Sometimes God doesn’t remove us from the storm but He always provides shelter and comfort.  We can curl up and rest when we’re in His shelter because we know He is watching over us and He’ll come when we cry out.

When I go outside, it’s usually to feed the dog, give him water, pet him or play with him.  It’s not to hurt him or scare him or derail him for no reason.  God wants our attention so He can give us our daily bread and living water, so He can show us that He is love and He is faithful.  He wants us to find our rest in Him.

Gator "resting"
My illness has taught me a LOT about priorities.  And though I am nowhere near perfect, I have made some changes in my life and what I consider important.  I don't run like Gator does every time, all the time, but I am certainly more aware that when God shows up I better pay attention.  Because of the months of time I've spent alone with God, I want to be with Him; I need that time; I cherish it.  It's so much easier now to stop what I'm doing and listen.  I believe if we all did this, life would be so much better and society wouldn't be nearly as hectic.  Most of the things on our daily task list won't make a significant impact to anyone in the days, weeks, months or years to come.  I hope we can all choose to passionately pursue God and find rest in Him!

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