Monday, June 23, 2008

How might Matt Talbot answer?

For those who are regular readers of our posts about Matt Talbot and are learning more about him, we might begin to think
about what Matt's thoughts and reactions might be to the content of various readings that we ourselves are regularly reading and consider in light of our own lives.

After you have read and answered the questions in this meditation for yourself, for example, consider how Matt might have answered them, prior to and after his conversion and recovery. (As with any posting, you are welcome to email your response. See email address in the profile link in the lower right-hand column.)

The Word Among Us
Monday, June 23, 2008

2 Kings 17:5-8,13-15,18

The vanity they pursued, they themselves became. (2 Kings 17:15)

What a sad commentary on the idolatry of Israel and where it led them! According to the sacred writer, the Israelites weren’t taken into captivity because their enemies were stronger than Israel’s military defenses. Rather, it was their spiritual condition, their infidelity to God, that caused their defeat. They followed pagan deities that were no gods at all, and they became as insubstantial as those idols. They became what they pursued, and that left them devastatingly vulnerable.

What do we pursue, and how does it affect us? Those who try to amass more and more wealth never seem to have enough. Those who must have the latest gadget or means of entertainment are soon bored. Those who seek popular acclaim find out how fickle public opinion is and end up with no firm principles of their own. Those who work long hours in order to give their families “the best” often find themselves enslaved to their jobs and out of touch with life at home.

What of those who wholeheartedly seek the kingdom of God? They become like the God they pursue: overflowing with love, joy, and hope. They see him at work everywhere and are energized to work alongside him to bring his kingdom on earth. Because they need nothing more and are satisfied with nothing less than union with the Lord, they gratefully receive “all these things,” all that they need and much more, from his hand (Matthew 6:33). God provides for their daily needs almost as a by-product of their love for him and their service of his gospel.

What do I seek? What is the deepest desire of my heart? What am I doing to attain that goal? What kind of effect is it having on me? How am I becoming like the things I am pursuing? What adjustments might I need to make so that my desires align more closely with God’s desires for me and those around me? How should I reorder my life so that I am investing time, work, and prayer in pursuing what I say matters most to me in life?

“Lord, I want to put your kingdom before all other desirable things. As I run after you, let me become more and more like you.”

Psalm 60:3-5,12-13; Matthew 7:1-5