Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pursuit ~ The Hunt

Set your hearts on things above.  Colossians 3:1
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.

LaGard says that it's fascinating to watch the hunt as it tears through his yard, and to see that even when the fox isn't caught, the chase is great fun and ends at the pub. So what does all of  this mean to you and me? Perhaps it can serve as a parable for us to ask whether we're chasing society's style-setters. It's these style-setters who  realistically set the pace for us, as we search for the answer to the question: What should I be chasing to be successful? 

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?

Jesus warned us in His Sermon on the Mount that all our chasing isn't likely to bring us what we're seeking. He said, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." Our chasing an earthly prize invites others to chase us, basically meaning that we're pursued by advertising, commercials, and other pitches for products. It guarantees we end up the hunted! 
Do you and I have our priorities all wrong? Jesus says: "Do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear.' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them." This is the hunt of pagans, not of Christians. As Christians, we believe that God will provide for us, and that chasing after all these things takes all our energy. Yes, I know these "necessities" do not count as accumulation of wealth. But all that energy chasing after these things shows a lack of faith and trust in God. 
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!


  1. Great blog posting! I agree, people often care way too much about worldly accomplishments than they should. At the end of life, will any of your worldly achievements really matter? I don't think so.

  2. Hi Jon...Thanks so much! Christians seem to have taken the attitude that there's nothing wrong with living like the world. They simply choose to live without thinking about the consequences of their choices. And I'm not saying that I'm not guilty, but I'm trying to do some soul-searching to do better. Hope you're enjoying the weekend.