"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..." (See title box for reference. This has been an important scripture for me for the last 38 days.)
Anyone up for a last minute word study?
Seek: ζητέω (Greek: zeteo)
1. to seek in order to find
a. to seek a thing
b. to seek in order to find out by thinking, meditating, reasoning
c. to seek after, strive for
2. to seek i.e. require
a. to crave, demand something from someone
I love all of these definitions of seek. The meditation one is interesting. It's the only one that's "be still". The others require an action. But they all work. The last one, to crave. Well, you know that hits home. But demand something... that reminds me of Jacob wrestling with God. "I will not let you go unless you bless me," Jacob says to the figure in Genesis 32:26. It's bold.
I feel like these four definitions are like my "five stages of grief" for Pick Five. Dealing with grief, according to the Kubler-Ross model, takes you through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Pick Five, on the other hand, is about seeking, about a search. It has taken me through seeking a thing, meditation, striving for, and demanding.
1a. To seek a thing
When I began Pick Five, I wasn't sure what that thing was. I knew that I was gluttonous and unappreciative. But I wasn't seeking to only correct those things. I knew that I was going to learn from the experience, but couldn't put my finger on what it was. I was seeking a thing. And I think that thing was, quite simply, change.
1b. To seek in order to find out by thinking, meditating, reasoning
This is by far the hardest thing a mother of three can try to do with her time. Room to think and meditate is a rare commodity. But it was during the quiet car rides, it was early in the morning before the children woke, and it was late in the evening when the children slept that I was able to commune with God on a realistic scale. These were the moments where I remembered to ask Him what He would have me say, and what He would have me learn. These times were the seconds and minutes that I actually got to ask myself the question that I got bombarded with all day long, "Well, how is it going?" and be able to give myself an honest answer. Leaving room in the margins for thinking, meditating, reasoning was the only way for me to seek in order to find out.
1c. To seek after, to strive for
seek a thing : strive for :: being healthy : exercise
A little bit of SAT lingo for you. "Seek a thing" is to "strive for" as "being healthy" is to "exercise". Let me break it down. We all want to be healthy, right? Anyone saying different is looking for an excuse to eat a donut. But we say it: I want to be healthy. Then it comes time to eat right and exercise, and you get to the put-up-or-shut-up stage. You step on the treadmill. You start it up, it accelerates. Cool, I'm exercising. Yep, I can do this. Getting healthier already. Whoo... Okay... Healthy me.... healthy, healthy, healthy... whoo... how long do I have to do this before I can go get a Chick-fil-A milkshake? That's how I felt at about day seven. Pick Five started with a desire to change. I wanted to seek that thing. But forty days. Was I willing to strive for, to seek after that change with passion, with earnestness. Day five, day seven, day 11, day 12, day 13, day 18, day 19, day 21, day 28, and day 31 all have something in common. That's when I wanted to throw in the towel. (And those were just the days I admitted it.) But God gave me the gifts of patience and persistence (if only for this season), so I wouldn't just seek a thing, but I would seek after it, strive for it.
2a. To crave, demand something from someone
Now, here I am at the end of this journey. Two days left. And I feel like I'm Jacob, wrestling with God. "I will not let go unless you bless me." I'm not asking for blessINGS. In fact, the word bless here is the Hebrew word ברך (barak), which means to bless, or to kneel. The most primitive usages of the word involve bending of the knees or a literal breaking. I've had some breaking down during this time, and it's not fun, but now I'm craving more. The fruit of His breaking, His causing us to kneel before Him, His blessing, is unbelievable. And it's addictive. But now I've convinced myself that God is only able to do a work in me in the next two days or time's up. You might think it's silly for me to feel that way. But looking at it, I guess that's how I should feel every day. Like Jacob. There was an urgency that Jacob had. He knew that he had something special in his grasp, and he didn't want to let it go. So God blessed Jacob (oh yeah, and threw his hip out of joint). And Jacob walked away limping. It is this craving, this demanding nature that we need to have with God on a daily basis. If our relationship is so real with God that we can respectfully demand blessing, we will walk away limping, every day. And that limp reminds us that God touched our life, and we are forever changed.
Mat 6:25, 31-33 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?... So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But SEEK first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."