You would not be reading these words if you did not have a genuine desire to pursue God. But at the same time, you’re probably feeling a degree of frustration about how to pursue Him while busily facing life’s challenges.
In our culture we are surrounded by distractions. And just as there will never be a time of “enough time,” there will never be a time without distractions; that is the impossible dream. The reality is that the urgent can often crowd out the important.
We have all had a good case of the “if onlys” at some point in our lives. Your spirit keenly feels that pursuing God is your greatest desire and delight, yet your life abounds with things that compete for your attention. You’ve probably said: “I would love to pursue God more fervently, if only I had more time … if only I had more help … if only others were more thoughtful … if only my family didn’t take so much of my time.”
The “if only” list is virtually endless. Almost always it includes “if onlys” related to jobs, spouses, children and the church.
Decision to Pursue God
I can still remember a rainy day in late autumn many years ago. Our son, Tommy, would soon be 3 years old, and now we had our new baby girl, Teri. They were exactly what my husband and I had hoped for.
The carefree days of “just the two of us” had been replaced with the responsibility of the four of us. I stared out a window, blinking away tears as I watched my husband, Tom, drive away to his ministry appointment. I was happy with the children and had vowed to be the best mother I could possibly be. Yet I had the inward stirrings of spiritual giftings and a deep yearning to be used of God.
I struggled with these two callings: chasing God and chasing kids; heavenly passion and earthly parenting. Both of these required time and energy. Neither of them could ever really be completed in the space of time allowed.
I made a decision on that day that has helped me balance spiritual pursuit and earthly responsibility. It helped keep me on track in my chase after God while chasing my lively children.
Perhaps it was more of a desperate decision than a deliberate one. I know my frustration came from a heart desperately hungry for God. With two babies at home and a husband in a traveling ministry, I could either seethe in frustration or find a way to feed my spiritual hunger.
I couldn’t do too much at the time. It was all I could do just to be what I was, but I could prepare myself for the time when I would be able to do more.
I made my decision: I would read, study, pray and meditate in the precious few moments of a young mother’s “down time.” At first, it was usually while the kids were down for their naps; then later, when they were at school.
For a special seven-year period, I carefully planned my time so that most evenings and every early morning would take me a little further in my pursuit of God. I am by nature an early riser, and this was a time that suited my God-chasing efforts.
My Bible and my books fed my hunger for learning about Him. My prayers brought Him intimately near so that in meditation, I learned from Him. The deliberate pursuit provided time to get to know Him.
Commitment to the Chase
What seems like an unreachable, impossible dream—time to pursue God with all our hearts, free from distractions and hindrances—will become a possibility only with commitment.
True commitment is the driving force of life. Commitment evolves into passion, and passion is contagious.
Often, we sabotage our own good intentions of pursuing God because of a preconceived idea of how it should be done. Then if we fail to conform to this idea, we abandon our pursuit.
Perfectionism produces procrastination. And procrastination robs us of commitment. Perfectionism also produces pharisaical self-condemnation, which takes the joy out of the relationship. Joyless duty undermines commitment.
I wonder if there have ever been any God-chasers who did not have the opportunity to succumb to the “I would—if only” dilemma. Surely Abraham was tempted, considering his life circumstances:
- He had a mandate from God that no one, not even he, understood.
- He had an aging promise and an aged wife with seemingly little faith.