December is upon us and for most people that means that their attention shifts to family traditions, office parties, gift exchanges and all the twinkling lights and jolly sounds that herald the modern celebration of the birth of Christ. Our family is no different, and one of our favorite customs is to decorate a separate tree with special ornaments that are a significant remembrance of something that happened the previous year.
This one is the cow bell we used to cheer my son’s high school football team on to the League Championship.
But last year, this particular keepsake went missing… which led to my all-out search of every box and bin that stored anything that even resembled Christmas décor. After days of digging through all kinds of storage compartments, I finally found the missing piece resting in the insulation between the slats of the attic floor! Needless to say, I was thrilled when I finally located what I had looked so hard to find!
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you… Psalm 63:1
You know, it’s easy to be persistent when it comes to something you really want, isn’t it? Maybe you’ve had the experience of shopping for an extended time to find the exact item you desired, looking endlessly online for information about a health issue, trying tirelessly to convince someone of your opinion, or like me, searching thoroughly for a lost memento. But when it comes to prayer and seeking God, we rarely have the same diligence, even though the reward of intimacy with Jesus is of far greater worth than any pursuit on earth.
When we realize the great privilege we have, how can we be satisfied with simply being saved and have so little interest in pursuing the most gratifying and exciting relationship available to us? Maybe our determined focus on more trivial things betrays how much we undervalue the honor of knowing Christ. Since our culture endlessly floods us with distractions that can cloud our minds and hearts, we must be careful to keep our attention sharpened on the true spiritual treasures that are just waiting to be uncovered.
As the celebration of Christ’s incarnation nears, now is the time to honestly examine your life to see what may be hindering a truly passionate pursuit of and for God. Consider ways to carve out time each day to be alone with Him. As you go about your routine, first seek His guidance and listen for His voice. As this becomes your habit, you, like the Apostle Paul, may find yourself eventually concluding that everything is “a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:8).