A tourist in Miami rented a powerboat one day. He asked the owner how to get to Bimini Island in the Bahamas. The owner told him it’s easy, just head due east for about 50 miles. At a speed of about 20-25 miles per hour, that should take a little over two hours. “But what if I miss it?” the tourist asked. “It is a small island, after all.”
“That’s simple,” the owner replied. “Once you see your gas tank get close to half, you missed it. Just turn around and head back west. You can’t miss the coast of America.” It’s easy to miss a tiny island in the vast ocean, but it’s impossible to miss the continent that crosses the ocean from north to south. You might not hit Miami exactly, but once you reach the U.S. coast, you can figure out fairly easily how to get back to Miami. If all else fails, you can always beach the boat and ask directions.
We often think connecting with God is like trying to find Bimini in the Atlantic, but it’s the opposite. God is impossible to miss if we head in the right direction. We don’t even have to be perfect about it – as long as we head more or less “west,” we will find Him.
There is only one way we will not find Him: if we don’t fire up the engines and take the time to go there. In other words, we stay unconnected with God by not seeking Him, not by missing Him. He’s hard to miss… if we will but seek.
There are many ways to seek Him, and no formulas. He’s everywhere, and He sees and hears everything. All it takes is time, and that, of course, means foregoing what we were doing with that time before. Superbowl was last Sunday. It was broadcast on Fox. How was ABC going to compete against the most popular TV event on a competing channel? Simple: get the people to unplug the TV during the game. How did they do that? Take a look:
The videos are funny, but they show our feelings about our free time, don’t they? What would we do if our favorite TV program was unplugged? The bigger question is: are we willing, even desirous, to unplug the TV ourselves in order to spend that time with the Lord? If time with Him is that precious to us, we wouldn’t hesitate. Should we hesitate, well, we just declared what’s more important to us.
In my many years as a Christian, there is something I’ve discovered. I don’t see it anywhere in the Bible, but many friends have found the same thing. (So it’s offered as an observation, not doctrine.) When we’ve been absent from our Father for a while, it does seem like He plays a little hard to get at first. It’s almost as if He wants to make sure we really are serious about wanting to do what it takes to get to Him… just to be with Him. It’s almost like when you leave Bimini, it takes a while before you reach Florida. Nothing but the beating sun, vast ocean and unending horizon, and of course the loud droning of the engine–that’s just a journey that’s hard to sell. These are the times we feel like our prayers hit the ceiling and the Bible verses we read are dry. Desert or wilderness times, we call them. If we keep on regardless, we always reach our destination, but there definitely are days when it seems pressing in to Him seems like a waste of time, because we can’t see anything happening.
One day I was talking to God about this (talking does sound so much better than whining, doesn’t it?) when I got an impression of Donald Trump. If I walked up to him and told him I wanted to be his friend, what would his first reaction be? “Is it about me or is it about my money?” God’s the same. Well, almost: He’s a lot nicer, of course, and he has a LOT more money. So He’d be really entitled to ask the same question: “Are you coming after Me just for Me, or for all the goodies you can get from Me?”
If our hearts are after our Father for Him alone, He sees that and, as He says in Jeremiah 29:13: “… you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jesus Christ echoed the same sentiment when He said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”
Let’s just admit it: On the surface, seeking the Lord, pressing into Him, and making the sacrifice of time to do so, is less entertaining than watching television or hanging out with friends. This is especially true when when our pressing in doesn’t appear to yield immediate results.
This post is pure preach and pure guilt. I can’t sell the journey, either. 🙂 Actually, no, that’s not true. Our Father is not up there in the distant heaven, standing at the door tapping His foot on the ground with a grim expression on His face, saying, “Well! What exactly took you so long?” No, that’s what we might do, but He is different. He waits for us with arms outstretched, just as Jesus told us in the parable of the prodigal son. Any time we come, He is happy. Period. No guilt, just welcome. Having arrived at the other end, being in communion with the King of all kings, who happens to know me, love me and talk to me, I will change that for nothing. You won’t, either.
Make the commitment and just keep coming. The destination is worth it!