Pursue God: A Daily Reminder of My Incredible Need
For most of my corporate career, I pursued attention. I thrived on the spotlight, the worshipful attention from other people. I prided myself in the business acumen that I was born with. I was good. So good.
Not to say I was without faith. I knew God noticed me. I had no problem with thinking that he was everywhere, knowing everything. I had no struggle believing he was on the ready to tap into for power and wisdom. I rarely asked much of him, since I knew he had already equipped me with everything I needed to succeed. (Sound familiar to anyone?)
I didn’t hide my faith. Everyone knew me as the cursing, gossipy, ordinary, self-serving, yet approachable Christian who played the God card only when it was needed to get noticed. That was, after all, my only objective in life – getting noticed. Although never openly admitted, my goal was never to glorify God (isn’t he capable of doing that himself?). Rather, being a Christian was a calling card to showcase the reason that I was so dang awesome. “Look at wonderful me, God did this!”
It was – in painful retrospect – much like a professional football player who beats his wife, but looks up to heaven in a most spiritual way to thank God for the touchdown he just scored.
Really. Sadly. Although my action was different, I was not better in my attitude.
The path to humility
Three years before I walked away from the corporate world, I found myself, for the first time in a position for which I was wholly unqualified. I was in way over my head. I had to face, for the first time in corporate life, that I was not-all-it.
I was forced to face the paradigm shift that my faith had been wrong-headed, that my focus had been tilted asunder.
You see, previously, I took positions that I was grossly overqualified for. I took on so-called challenges that I knew going in would showcase how quickly I grasped things, how I could hit the ground running. I never once ever took on a position that required me to lean on God, to pursue him for comfort, to ask, really ask – the face to floor, blisters on the knees, kind of asking.
In less than a year, I had gone from that Christian who was just like the world, equipped by God with incredible talent to a humbled, nearly defeated human being, begging God to reach me where I was, and to teach me through the pain of failure, through the judgment of peers, through the embarrassing, sweat-provoking moments of un-notice.
A Daily Renewal
Out the other side, I realized that I had never pursued God before then. I accepted he was there. I accepted I would spend eternity with him. But I never walked with him through life, leaning on him, crippled by my human frailty.
Today, there is a peace to my faith, a simplistic peace to it, that I never had before. In reality, I was, playing a Christian, rather than being one. Previously, I ran to him only when I needed a face-saving guarantee. Now pursuing God has become so much more than that. It has become, for me, the daily renewal of my incredible need. A humbling reminder of the blessings of talents and gifts. I can walk into the world, as Augustine so beautifully put it, to “Love God and do as I please” knowing he has my back because he is standing right next to me, with his arm around my shoulders, noticing me.
Lovely picture. For me.
What does it mean to pursue God in all aspects of life? How do we live in such a way that every area of our lives and every facet of ourselves is available to the pursuit of God? Are we living fragmented, viewing parts of our lives as sacred and other parts as secular? What would happen if we let the different parts of our lives exist together in an integrated life, pursuing God in every aspect of who we are at work, at home, and at church? Dictionary.com offers a few definitions of the word pursue, one of which includes the idea of following in order to overtake or capture, but who can capture God? Instead, let's consider an alternate definition that lifts up the idea of following close upon or going with. In the series, Pursue God, we'll consider how to go with God in every aspect of our lives—inviting him to integrate each part of our lives and to be Lord over all.
Post featured by David Rupert. Photo by Bill Vriesema. Design by Jennifer Dukes Lee.