- Claire Vorster
Searching For Meaning
‘The frontier between hell and heaven is only the difference between two ways of looking at things.’ George Bernard Shaw
When did you last search for something? I mean REALLY search, the kind of searching you have to do - because until you find the object of your search, life cannot go on.
This weekend, I looked for a brick, I spent a good 10 minutes looking for a brick. Am I building a house? No. I was looking for a final ‘must have’ brick to stabilize our kids’ trampoline; without which there would have been no fun. This morning I was looking for my car keys, without which my kids would not have made it to school on time.
The things we search for bring our lives into sharp focus. What do I mean by that? Well, most of the things I search for have to do with my kids, so there’s my focus. Except when I am searching for a word. But what about the searching we do that is not about bricks or key? The searching for something we lost or have never possessed. Searching for meaning, security, love, friendship, encouragement, fulfilment or success?
How much time do we spend searching for these things? Does that search bring us peace and happiness or do we end up finding only anger and frustration? For me, the answer depends on where I am looking.
Here’s a thought. Have you noticed that you often find what you are looking for in the last place you would expect to find it? It’s one of those well-worn phrases isn’t it?
I always find my [lost thing] in the last place I think to look.
Why do you find what you lost in the last place you think to look? Because then you stop looking.
My search for peace and happiness is often frustrated when I look to myself or to other people for answers. It’s a fruitless kind of searching that starts with ‘if only this had or hadn’t happened’, ‘why did I or didn’t I do?’ ‘what if I had or hadn’t?’ I look at myself and find myself wanting. I look at my circumstances and find them wanting. I look at other people and find them wanting. And then and only then I look at God, and find Him wanting. I’ve got the equation all wrong.
[lost thing] x [me + people + circumstances] = frustration (+ God)
God knows all about finding things in the last place you’d think to look. Who would ever have thought to look for the King in an obscure stable? Who would ever have thought to look for unfailing love at the crucifixion of a common criminal? Who would ever have thought to look for abundant life beyond the confines of a borrowed grave?
So why don’t I try that equation again, putting God first in my looking rather than last?
[lost thing x God] – [me + people + circumstances] = peace
The things we search for bring our lives into sharp focus. Our searching for something we lost or have never possessed.
What if we change the way we look?
He believes in you.