Ask, Seek and Knock…

Our recent discovery of the door buried in the wall reminded me of a journal entry a few months ago.  It seems worth sharing.

What exactly is Jesus  speaking about when he tells his disciples to “Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find, Knock and the door will be opened to you”   The big question is how do we find meaningful relationship with God?  And I believe the answer is different for each of us.

Jesus description of himself as “The Way, the Truth and the Life” never seemed to have much depth of meaning for me.  There are many brilliant theological minds  who surely have addressed this saying of his and it’s meaning.  Literal thinkers may translate this to an understanding of Jesus as the only way to eternal life and exhort what I now believe is a narrow view of his words.  During meditation on both of these teachings a door seemed to open to a new realization.

ASK –   The Way.  When lost on the highway before GPS systems, one had to swallow their pride pull over and ask someone.  In doing that it not only creates a humble attitude that we don’t know how to get where we are going but also puts us in relationship with another person.  How many people ( sorry men but there is an old joke about you asking for directions) just keep driving around not wanting look silly or ignorant and go in circles.  Either they get lucky, turn around and give up going back where they came from or they admit they need the help of another.  So I shall ask God and others the Way – putting my ego/pride away and then seeking out the one or One who knows.

SEEK – The Truth.  What is real and what is important.  Our culture and my life experiences have created many lies about myself and others that become hard to identify as a false reality.  We believe things about ourselves and others based on false information.   In seeking I ask; who am I to be in the world?  Is what I wear and who I support politically important in the eternal Kingdom?  And who are others that I am in relationship with?  Do they, like me keep certain things undercover for protection of Self? I was told so many times that I didn’t have the degree or the knowledge to do more with my life that I believed it and settled for the lie.  But in seeking the Truth  I can look beyond the surface of things to experience the world with love and compassion for myself and others.

KNOCK – On the door to authentic life to eternal life.  For though we look forward to the heavenly chorus of angels and being with God when our physical life is complete aren’t we supposed to experience and share Love, Joy, Peace, Patience….here on earth?  Yes!   We come to the door to knock after we Ask and Seek.  Prepared with the way to go, humble hearts and the truth of who and whose we are  ready to open the door and experience abundant and yes, eternal life.

Matthew 7:1-12

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.  Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.
 “Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.   “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?  Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?
 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!  “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Post script –  As a follower of Jesus I am saddened by those who see his words as literal mandates and do not look deeper into the love he taught.  Maybe they are still wandering the road and won’t ask for directions.  Caty's Birthday Upstate 052


The Path

Poets and philosophers have used the image of the path as a metaphor for life and the choices we make. Jesus used the path as a stony place where even good seed will not grow (Matthew 13) I view my life and the choices made as a journey that weaves on and off the path.

People say – God has a purpose in everything and for everything, so the choices I and others make, whether good or smart or not the best choices will have purpose. I believe this and knowing that God grants us free will, also know that God does not direct our choices for His outcome but knows our choices before we make them; I mean, He knows our inward parts as we are formed in our mother’s womb and knows the number of hairs on our head. (Psalm 139) We are completely known, each decision, each turn on and off the path. So when we turn, He is there and creating new ways to be in relationship with Him and others.

Many times in my life I have felt that nudge toward a turn off the path that have led me here. No flashing signs that say
“Exit Here” but finely tuned changes placed in front of me that seem to say “This is where God wants you to go” then I have a choice. I could stay on my clean and planned path where all is neat and landscaped just as I like it or I can venture into the fields through tall grass in unknown places. Looking behind me I see the path I walked on that gave me rest for a time and the new path that was created by my walking through the field.

So here I am, new (very old) home, leaky barn and single wide trailer to begin a journey I had not planned in my view of how life would be in retirement. Time to worship and serve with a less distracted mind and heart. And though believing I can see this new path, it is uncharted and the realization that there may be changes in routes keeps me humble.

How wonderful that God has blessed me with a human partner who shares my life and travels with me on the journey. I am glad I ventured off the path where nothing would grow, out in the field in good soil prepared for our journey to plant new seeds of healing, hope and love.