Life Lesson 1: Seek Ye First …

“See ye first the kingdom of God”, Matthew 6:33, is a lesson that I’ve been tested on over and over again. I believe this advice given in the scripture, and I also believe that God has commissioned each of us to seek our purpose in this life, so that we may fulfill our part of revealing His Spirit in very unique ways. While l reserve the most intimate me, for the Creator, I have at times sought out the expertise, guidance and mentorship of those of authority in things that interest me. In my seeking, truth and the spirit of God is the common thread and is what I seek in these various interests and expressions. Whether it is in my work, my relationships, raising my children, gardening, dancing or writing, I’m seeking to discover truth and to express truth.

What I have found in my search are people somewhat like me. We are students, searching for truth. We are all at very different places in our seeking. Many of us have gone off on tangents that are self serving. Many of us have not discovered and accepted enough of self to be able to stand in our own power. Many of us have chosen to walk alone or with others in the same boat, same mindset, etc., and are exhausted from the hardships and limbo of living in the same bag of crabs that provide zero support. Many not having the physical, mental or spiritual power to push through the day-to-day life in the bag, will not have the strength to push through to the truths of the Creator. What I have found are the strivings of other human beings.

I see what they seek. They seek God, understanding of self, sense of purpose, acceptance from others, accomplishment and power. I see that they seek God as refuge from the suffering and confusion. They seek God in an effort to understand themselves and a means to feel purposeful. So do I. It seems to be that during this seeking for purpose and meaning of self, we are most vulnerable. “Am I going in the right direction?”, “Should I do this or that?”These are questions that I’ve asked myself many times. That’s how I know when I’m at a crossroads. The question of direction becomes paramount! Urgent!
Well, from my experience, the answer rarely comes during this urgency stage. When the time comes, you will not be in a place of urgency, but a place of peace and humility. You will have fought and struggled, cursed others and God, cried and felt sorry for yourself and finally given up on your strivings. THEN, AND ONLY THEN, will you be extended the loving hand of God. I can see it right now. Just a hand, a loving hand that when you reach out to it and grasp it, it will bring comfort and the sense of direction and insight that you had been seeking in your head-based strivings, rather than your heart. Like with most “good” things in life, there is a price to pay. In seeking God, the price that you pay is in time, patience, in prayer and humility. You may pay it with your relationships, as often times you will be required to separate yourself from what is familiar in order to purge. You may be required to uproot.

During this time of seeking we may get bored with waiting for God and it is during this time that we may turn away, thinking that this or that person is the faster way to the things of God. They are not. You may find someone that because of their accomplishments, have made themselves an authority and a go through, to get to your Source. They are not. The lesson that I have learned, finally, is that although we are all at different levels of maturity, we are all the same. We are student, apprentices, under the tutelage of the Creator.

Jesus said that the work that he did, the miracles performed by his hand, was done by the power of God, not by his own power. I believe Jesus’ life and works to be an example of the price that we have to pay to gain the wisdom and receive the power of God. This disclaimer by Jesus tells me that Jesus saw himself as an apprentice to God and a tool being used to bring about the will of God, to reveal truth and the ways of God and the universe. At his time of death, when he asked God to take the cup of death away from him, I see in Jesus a man with a normal response to suffering and death. Jesus is at the pinnacle of fulfilling his purpose that was directed by God every step of the way. He was a willing apprentice who had completed his mission on the earth. He did not go through John or anyone else. He did it with the help of the Creator.

I say this not to dismiss the work and dedication of people in authority in their areas of expertise. We can all learn from each other. I’m saying this as an observation in my experience, that although someone may be an authority and considered a master of their craft, they are not the door keepers, the go through to God, nor to fulfilling your purpose. Whether you are an artist, dancer, counselor, attorney or a doctor, seeking God first for guidance is imperative to gaining the knowledge and wisdom needed to do your job, fulfill your purpose. While there are many master teachers, there is but one “Master Teacher” that will lead you in your work. Learn what you will from your bosses, teachers and mentors, but keep your eyes on the Creator. Show Him your heart, through your prayers and actions. Be humble and pliable. The essence of your purpose, your journey and your gifts will be made known, bit by bit. This is not about instant gratification. It’s about discovering you and in doing so, discovering God in ALL of who He is.

Therefore, I can say with conviction that I will keep my eyes on God and not be moved by the time that it takes to uncover the truth. The act of searching is building my character, my knowledge, wisdom and strength. The search is necessary.

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