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The virtue of seeking

I took up disc golf a few months ago --- it’s relatively easy, costs nothing (after your initial investment of a few discs), gets you out in the fresh air, and provides some decent exercise (my pedometer usually registers about 2 ½ miles).  That being said, it also gives you the opportunity to do something else --- be a seeker.

There’s no one I know who throws the disc where they want to all the time so that means if you play --- you will look!  It’s part of the game, so if you you’re not willing to spend some time seeking, disc golf isn’t for you. 
The same thing is true in being a follower of Jesus.  Seeking is a part of our job description.  There’s the initial seeking that culminates in a person being baptized and coming into the kingdom of God.  The book of Acts is filled with examples of this from three thousand people on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), to an Ethiopian man who gets baptized on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza (Acts 8).

 But there’s also the seeking that the disciple does as they continue to grow and develop spiritually.  No follower is ever a finished product --- there is always room for growth and improvement and we are to pursue that.  You can get a sense of this in Paul’s prayer for the Christians at Colossae (1:9ff).  Unfortunately, too many allow their faith to fossilize rather than energize.  This is not only hurtful to them but to the larger cause of Christ as a stale faith attracts no one and turns off many.

If there are those who seek too little, there are also those who seek too much.  Seeking is not an end in itself, it is a means to the end of finding, knowing, and living.  Jesus promised, “Seek and you will find,” (Matthew 7:7).  He also said that those who followed His teaching would know the truth and the truth would set them free (John 8:31-32). 

This runs counter to the part of our culture that embraces the ideal that in regard to spiritual matters, we can never really know anything for certain so all views are equally valid. It was G. K. Chesterton who famously observed that “We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table." Paul spoke to Timothy of those who were “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth,” (2 Timothy 3:7). According to Jesus, we can know the truth and experience the freedom that it brings. I know when I find my disc.  It’s a certain model, color, weight, and it has my name and phone number on the inside.  It wouldn’t make any sense for me to find my disc but keep looking because someone else might be throwing the same disc, with the same name, and same phone number.  If I adopt that attitude, I’ll never find my disc. 

Seeking is virtuous only if it is done for the right reason --- to find, learn, and practice the truth. 
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