At our first store, Kimberly had a few moments that she was afraid for her life, but she battled through it and continued shopping. LOL! The next two stores were controlled chaos, then we got to Belks. I think every woman in Jacksonville was there and they were all in the boot department! Women were crawling over those boots like ants on an anthill. Bumping. Reaching. Women were crazy for a bargain. Those kind of sales just bring out the animal or the sinner in you. You just wanna rush, be the first in line….sorry men, maybe you don’t know about that adrenaline rush that makes you grab 10 boxes and hurry off to try them on. Grey haired women. Teenagers. Everything in between, we were all there, passionate about finding a bargain…good looking boots to wear the longggg winter of Florida (which in most cases adds up to, ohhh, about 2 weeks). It was a sight.
I have boots, so I just watched the shopping frenzy. It wasn’t pretty sight ladies…nope, not a pretty sight. Passionate women! Eager women! Determined women! Focused women! All about a pair of boots!
Maybe you saw the same passion in another store or over another incredible deal. Maybe it was the newest Xbox game or a television…whatever bargain it was that kept you up late or pulled you outta bed and drove you to the shopping center. And then there’s deer hunting that does the same thing to a man. My friends just returned from a week at a hunting lodge. They had the same kind of passion that I saw in the eyes of the crazed women on Black Friday.
I wonder if we would all be different people if our passion for the things of God equaled the intensity of those women shopping for boots. Passion in the church is criticized by people that have never experienced it. It is undervalued and under pursued. If we could only glimpse, if we could only know the treasures, the victories, the peace, the joy that we would experience, if we pursued Him with the same unbridled intensity of a bargain hunter, a deer hunter or a football fan. Our lives would be drastically different! It’s life changing–not because of the chase, but because of the find.
I’m not criticizing anyone for loving a good bargain or being passionate about sports, but my point is, we see the value of a bargain, but the presence of God doesn’t rank anywhere close on our priority list. Not that we don’t scrawl it there on our “To Do List” after an inspiring sermon. But our note is shoved in the back of our Bible and mind, life piles in on us; and our good intention is soon forgotten.
We chase bargains.We chase success. We chase fashion…but our chase for God finds us exhausted on the sidelines, too weary from all our other chases to be interested in chasing Him. Meanwhile an underlying hunger gnaws at all our other pursuits.
But David saw the value of experiencing God. Many theologians agree that David penned the words in Psalms 42:1 nlt “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” He experienced the life changing results of pursuing and finding. God promised if we would search for Him, we would find Him. So passionate, desperate searches for Him are always rewarded, unlike most shopping experiences.
I think three things has to happen if we are going to become passionate about the presence of God.
1. We must fall in love with Jesus.
2. We must become disciples of Jesus. Following. Surrendering. Listening. Obeying. Serving.
3. We must become intentional in our pursuit of Him. We must make time to worship, pray and read the Scriptures.
Stir our hearts Lord. Make us hungry for you. Let us value your presence…so we can all say
…Let the pursuit begin!
Give a gift that will make a difference in their lives!