Bread – Pursuit

January 23, 2017

Psalm 49

Hear this, all peoples!…Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.”  Ps. 49:1,20

What will we pursue or chase after this week.  Will we be engaged in the pursuit of fame, of fortune, of happiness, of self-satisfaction, of beauty, of honor, of position, of power, of things, of others, of our family, of friendship?  There are many pursuits which can occupy our attention and our time, and most of these are emphasized by the world as necessary if we are to lead a “full life.”  We must pursue quiet time for ourselves, adequate money for retirement, housing, transportation, education.  We must pursue the “good life,” which our advertising media has taught us is a large house in pleasant surroundings, a dog and a cat, two well-dressed and well-behaved children, a good job, two new cars, and a kitchen which looks like the ones in the cook books.

On top of all that, we are told that we should be engaged in the “pursuit of excellence.”

The writer of this psalm suggests instead that we should be in the pursuit of wisdom, which begins with the understanding that we end our lives with nothing.  And yet, although we “know” this intellectually, we behave as if we can take it with us and as if, in any event, we will live forever.  Death, however, is imminent.

Maybe we should be pursuing excellence in all things as if unto the Lord, but excellence in what?  In doing or in being?  In amassing wealth in many storehouses or in depositing treasurers in heaven?  In worry about tomorrow or engagement in love with the world around us as ambassadors of Christ today?

Perhaps as we begin this Monday, it is an entirely appropriate question about what we will be pursuing today and this week.

The nature of pursuit is that we eye what we want and we go after it.  We do other things along the way, but those things are not the main things.  The only main things are those which enable us in our pursuit.  For example, if we pursue wealth, then we may eat dinner, but preferably we will do it with someone who can increase our wealth or, failing that, we will eat with our digital assistant in our laps checking e-mails less we fail to push the next business deal along as fast as it should go.  If we pursue other people, if we pursue interpersonal relations, we may still prefer dinner with someone who can make us wealthy, but we will turn off the digital assistant and carefully listen to the conversation so that we may build up those interpersonal bonds we are pursuing.

Who or what is our eye on today and this week?  Who or what are we in pursuit of?

The Psalmist suggests that what we ought to be in pursuit of is eternal life and the God who can give it.  Do you agree?  Are you pursuing it?


© 2017 GBF   All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.




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