He That Seeketh Findeth...
y old car had been to the shop one too many times during itís 150-K and I was seriously kicking tires. I had paid twelve-bucks for the Consumers Reports dealerís pricing, inside information, and had decided to go for the Toyota Camry; after all, it was now being made in the U.S.A., Kentucky even. I had made jokes about donating twenty dollars to the U.A.W., if I bought a foreign car, so I was saving twenty off the deal if I bought a Southern Made edition. Anyway, I was informed and looking. Now I just had to find the right one. The SE (sport edition) coupe, in gold, with the scoop on the trunk, big tires, and mag wheels, was what I really wanted. After stumbling through six dealerships, there it was, just perfect, and a demo to boot. The saleswoman caught me looking and smiling: she thought she had me. Her approach was somewhat direct, You are going to purchase my demonstrator today! she said. I stuttered, Ugh, Uh, how-to-do-you-do know that? She retorted, Because you have obviously been looking a long time and you want it bad! She thought she had me on the ropes, and I did buy her car about six hours later, and she convinced me that I had a good deal; and I was just glad that Consumers Reports thought so too.
When we want something real bad, we usually get it, or die trying!
It is that way with finding God too.
It is never an accident. It never just happens. We just donít stumble over Him in the dark.
And, it has always worked that way.
Back in Deuteronomy (4: 29) we hear: But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (KJV, obviously). In the Sermon on the Mount we hear Jesus say: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (6: 33).
When I married Marilyn thirty-three years ago today, I was not much of a shopper. If I needed a shirt, I would run into the store and find one, or two, never reading the labels or comparing prices, much less looking around. I had learned how to shop from my Daddy, who never shopped.
But a womanís touch was far different. At first I would just sit and wait on her: I sat for hours on hard benches in malls. Then I would tag along and observe how she sought after the pearl of lowest price. She would look for weeks for an item, but she would always find just the right Ďthingie, and would be elated that it was 90 % off the original price.
On my first effort at price-shopping I did find a pair of pants that were half-off, at a discount store. I was so proud when I tried them on at home for Marilyn, the only problem was that there was a big hole in the seat, evidently somebody else had tried them on at the store, and had bent over in the process. After that I learned to return stuff to the store.
But, I kept trying to learn, because I started wanting stuff. I pursued shopping with all my heart, and with all my soul. The results of my diligence is that I have gotten real good at it. The point is that if we begin to want something we will seek it until we find it.
My anniversary present from Marilyn is a new suede jacket from J. Crew. We shopped for it together (Ainít that sweet!). For days we diligently sought first the king of jackets and all the discounts were added unto it. Originally, $298.00, then $219.95, then marked down to $149.95, so I tried it on, several times, and then walked out of the store to look at Macyís, then back to get the apple of our eye, which rang up at $112.95. They threw in a nice wooden hanger and garment bag. I am wearing it right now, under my pulpit robe: not really.
I hope we all put that much effort into seeking God, and to strengthening our relationship with Him, ever after. Those of us who have known Him for a long time have learned that it takes that kind of effort and concentration--- To seek, and find, and keep the friendship vital.
One of our outings on this Anniversary Weekend has been to see the movie, The Straight Story. It is a Disney, Rated G, so we thought after 33 years of marriage we could handle it. It is about an old codger who gets word that his brother has had a stroke. Despite his two walking canes, he builds a trailer, hooks it to his lawnmower, and rides it 330 miles to mend their broken relationship. He wanted to make that trip his way, on his own, with all of his heart and he gave up everything else, and did it. (BTW, this is all in the previews).
We have a friend who was reared in a secular home and had never even been into a church. As a young adult another young woman convinced her that it was s good place to meet eligible bachelors. So, they started playing volleyball. Later they attended the Career Class, and then found themselves attending worship regularly. They became interested in what the preacher was saying, but more than that, they began to want what they felt that others in the church had. They heard the story, they began to understand it, they both wanted to really know Christ. Then one afternoon, these two young women prayed together in a car and both opened their hearts to Him; and both found Him, at the same time.
Maybe you have just known Him forever. You had Christian parents who brought you to an Altar as an infant and took vows to rear you in the nurture and love of God; and they kept those sacred vows diligently. Maybe you donít even remember when you came to love Christ, it was just ingrained into you, and you have loved Him since before you can remember. That is a wonderful life, that is really the preferred way to come to know Him. Thatís how it worked with our two daughters. But, just be sure and certain that you do really know Him, and that even though you canít recall seeking Him, you do know Him. You donít want to get into a jam only to discover that you bought the pants with a hole in the seat.
a sermon synopsis
by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor