Are we looking for God in all the wrong places?

Are we looking for God in all the wrong places?

I mean, so many are not finding Him these days. And the scripture tells us “Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.” If we’re seeking why are we not finding?

We capable and successful people know how to address this. We’ll increase our chances by looking for God in places where we know He already is. Like church on a Sunday, right?

Gratefully, that is one place I do regularly find Him. Although, He doesn’t just engulf me when I walk in the door. There’s a transition period. The guy handing out bulletins is the same guy (coincidentally) that I saw on a soccer field in Frederick yesterday haranguing me about the league administration and interactions he had with the opposing club. Of course, he and 16 kids had just made an hour and a quarter drive to a field that double-booked the game. But still.

Still, in a Sunday worship service, I do find when I seek. That’s a game I always win. Really no doubt as to the outcome, so what’s the challenge?

The challenge comes in the “everywhere else.” Because God’s supposed to be there, too. And let it be said that I love a challenge. So, what if I seek in a more even-odds environment? Say, on a Sunday soccer field. Are ya there, God? If you are who you say you are, then show yourself!

Yesterday I was a bit hard-pressed to win the seek and find game. Even coming straight from church where I was reminded of what God looks like and sounds like and feels like, when I step onto the turf, He seems so far away. People argue. The referee warns. Coaches challenge. Parents taunt. This is soccer on Sundays.

I believe I’m meant to be here almost as deeply as I believe in God. But where is He? I have the sneaking suspicion that I was supposed to bring Him with me. So others might find Him. What if ‘seek and ye shall find’ depends on me?

Oh, I can refrain from arguing and coaching from the sidelines. I can resist the urge to correct the parent who has just disrespected the ref. I can choose to encourage the players and “be a good sport.” But the world can do this – though often it doesn’t. What is different about me? Since I have sought God and found Him, how am I changed?

I guess it starts with my refusal to give up this ground. I come and I watch and I cheer, even when there’s a cold rain and my team is several goals down. I stand in the middle of conflict and honor the game. Somehow my being there is meant to make a difference.

Olivia on the moveEven if it’s just that later that evening my kid thanks me for coming. And we can talk about the game, our favorite plays, and the tiny bit of over-aggressiveness she noted in behalf of the other teams’ players. All okay with her, she tells me. It just makes her more determined not to let the other team have the ball.

Well, if that’s what she’s learning, then I’ll keep coming. Backing down, doesn’t win games. And the world is much more like the soccer field than the church service.

The sermon message for me yesterday was, “If you’re looking for God, go where you know you’ll find Him. And you’ll always find Him with the needy: the poor, the oppressed and the downcast. I am not sure if they were at church, but I am certain they were present at the soccer field.

Found Him! Now comes the hard part…shedding that Light.


About wlebolt

Life comes at you fast. I like to catch it and toss it back. Or toss it up to see where it lands. I do my best thinking when I'm moving. And my best writing when I am tapping my foot to a beat no one else hears. Kinesthetic to the core.

Posted on April 29, 2013, in Body, Sermon Response and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Isaiah 58:
    5 “Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
    Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
    Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

    6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?

    7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
    when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

    8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
    then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

    9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
    “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

    10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
    then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.”

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