Paul writes to the church in Corinth and suggests that if they want to represent Christ well, and if they want to enjoy life as a community of faith they could do worse than turn their attention to pursuing “love and desire Spiritual gifts” (1 Cor 14:1)
I know many of us would like peace, we struggle at times to get along with neighbours, our families and friends. We desire lives of a certain sort and we feel frustrated when our lives do not meet our expectations. Some of the issue is holding our expectations too tightly but some of the problem is also a failure on our part to examine those expectations and to strive in a studied manner towards them.
So, a simple but powerful question for you to reflect upon today is: What do you actively pursue?
Are you aware of it, like have you decided to strive towards financial independence retire early (fire), or some other such clear long-term goal; or are you unaware of what you are pursuing?
If you are in the later category, regardless of your age and stage, you need to discover it. Failure here means drifting along. It means missed opportunities, it means eventually looking back with regret, it means never hitting the target (though my intentional living means never hitting as in going to – Target:)
Whether you know the pursuit or not your calendar and your bank account (or credit cards statements) will help you see what you have been pursuing. The question will become are you happy with the path you are on and where it leads? If not, can you change it, even in a small way?
When you look at how you spend your time and resources does it seem to you – and who else could judge such a question that you are focused on matters worthy of your attention and headed towards a destination you will be proud to reach?
Paul suggests avoiding distractions and pursuing the edification of the church, attracting people to the life well-lived, is a worthy goal for each of us. I have found it personally gratifying to seek a life of faith and at the same time often hard to do so. Paul says to be careful of our true goals (desires). Otherwise noble work becomes pathetic and diminishes us and the work when it is done as an ego-stroke rather than to benefit someone else or to glorify God. Maybe this is what those old Catechisms were getting at when they asked what the chief end of man was and answered that we are to glorify God.
So what do you actively pursue? Is it worth it?