Today we're in Chapter 23 of Meeting God in Quiet Places: the Cotswold Parables by F. LaGard Smith. I enjoy the many true-life stories in this book that have been made into parables for our lives. They're such a vivid and delightful way to reach our hearts and minds. Jesus taught in parables, but not everyone understood His message. I pray that we'll not only understand the message of each parable, but apply it to our lives. This chapter has to do with a fox hunt. The horse, rider, and dogs chasing the fox are analogous to our chasing the material goods of this world.
I can think of people who are proud of their frenetic lifestyle--keeping both themselves and their children in the game. And when they somehow catch what they're chasing, they honestly feel that they've gained a little more power and recognition. Not much, but enough to keep them in the hunt. LaGard says: "If I'm honest with myself, much of what I chase after is immediate physical gratification rather than long-term spiritual fulfillment--a meaningless life exercise having little to do with anything soul-enriching or eternal." Does this ring true for you? Have you bought into a jaded culture? I love what Solomon said: "Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind." And he learned the hard way.
And what's the irony here? Foxes usually chase and kill rabbits and lambs, but now the tables are turned, and the hunter--the fox--has become the hunted. Now the fox is being chased for his life! The hunters always become the hunted, which causes LaGard to say: "In our desperate search for earthly fulfillment, humans are hunted down by the very things they chase after. Accumulation brings fear of loss; achievement begs even more herculean effort; and recognition robs me of privacy. When that happens, who is chasing whom?" Have you and I become the hunted?
The way out of this vicious circle comes by seeking, not by chasing. Remember what Jesus encouraged us to do: in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said to "seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Spending our time seeking God means we'll never be disappointed. We won't be empty, or searching, or discontent. There's no reason to chase after the illusion of happiness, when true happiness can be found in Christ!
I hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend!