She looks into her bedroom mirror one last time, dabs the sweet perfume carefully behind her ears and smiles. Perfect. Well, as perfect as it’ll get. Her flawless complexion and tight brunette ringlets would leave any man weak in the knees. But she still tries endlessly. It never hurts. Even though he’s shown her his interest, his affection, his desire, she still tries to make him pursue. Am I lovely to him?
His wire-framed glasses slip down his broad nose for the fifth time since class started. It’s been three minutes. He is staring intently at the synopsis of their next assigned piece of literature, but not digesting what is printed on the cover. He smells the book. Ah. It reeks of adventure and knowledge. The teacher does roll call as per usual. English 30 begins and he has high hopes that this will be the class when Mrs. Reinhard notices his hand and acknowledges that this “nerd,” as the others have dubbed him, may just have some answers. That maybe behind the poor hygiene and secondhand clothing lies a genius. Perhaps she will ask for his input. Or perhaps, once again, she will choose a student that “appears” brighter. Maybe next time. Maybe next class she’ll see I have something to say.
I am sipping my coffee, waiting for my flight home. My eyes stop on a red-haired boy that looks about 5 years old, fervently trying to get his father’s attention. “Daddy, Daddy! Daddy! Did you know … Daddy, Daddy!” He crawls around on his seat like he has ants in his pants. “Daddy, Daddy?” His father, looking everywhere but his son’s eyes, seems to be intent on NOT focusing on his child. Why? I ask myself as I watch this family affair unfold. You’d be blind not to notice that this boy craves his dad’s attention more than anything else. More than the latest Cars toy. More than the red gummies laced with sugar. He is pursuing his daddy’s attention—and not winning.
As humans, it’s in our nature to pursue, chase and desire. Or want the same. We pursue acknowledgment from our boss, the admiration of the girl next door, our parents’ approval or the fast food we just have to have at 10 o’clock at night. Every day we are after something.
The dictionary definition of pursue means to "overtake, capture, to follow close upon, to strive to gain or to continue."
Genesis says we were created in God’s image. Man and woman. If God created us like Himself, and if pursuit is in our nature, then why wouldn’t He have that same trait as well?
I read a line in my devotional recently, and it hasn’t left me.
Jesus still pursues people. He passionately engages with His creation.
The moment I woke up this morning He was anxiously awaiting my first words, hoping they’d be to Him. He waits with the excitement of a child at Christmastime, or so my imagination leads me to believe, for us to drop a knee and worship him—be it five or 30 minutes of our day.
With pursuit comes some form of love. Or what will eventually lead to love. Correct? We don’t pursue things we don’t naturally desire or like.
I’ve often pondered the thought of love—Christ’s love and how I am really supposed to love all these crazy, amazing and not-so-like-me people who surround me every day.
The Bible states that we will never be able to fully comprehend Christ’s love, though we can experience it. We can know God, but only in part—as much as we seek to know Him, really. So, on this thought of love and pursuit, what does it really all boil down to?
In Mark 10:51, Jesus is talking to blind Bartimaeus. Bart is so excited to hear Jesus call his name that he throws off his cloak and goes to Jesus. “What can I do for you?” asks Jesus.
“Teacher, I want to see.”
That’s the question. That is what love, pursuit and seeking anyone and anything boils down to—what can I do for you? What can I offer, give, contribute, do, help, etc.? That is how Jesus still pursues us. To Him, it’s all about us. And the moment we stop pursuing or giving in to a relationship, it dies.
He says very simply and out of complete commitment and passion for His creation, “What can I do for you?” As if dying a brutal death on the cross and going to hell weren’t enough, Jesus still asks what He can do for us.
And that is the key to loving people. Pursuing people. Loving the unlovable or showing someone you want to be with them in some form: what can I do for you?
The greatest commandment in the Bible is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Now, if that’s the greatest commandment, then likely that brings the greatest joy to God’s heart. Loving people. When we pursue people, we are actually pursuing what brings joy to our Father’s heart. We are effectively pursuing Him. It’s worship.
You see, it’s not about me. Life is not about what I can do for me. Though God wants us to be open to His work in our lives, the best way I can think of how He just might want to do this is through us focusing on the needs of others. What do you want? How can I make you just a little bit happier today? How can I bring a piece of heaven into your semi-chaotic world?
Show people they matter. Take time. Listen. Continue and follow close upon them. And be genuine about it. To me, that is the truest and purest form of love. To make people matter. And we also get to pursue the unending and most amazing relationship one can have with their Creator.
Jesus still pursues people, so why shouldn’t we?