Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Wonder Dogs Run in Circles: The Search for God


Maggie The Wonder Dog and Mamie, her Wonder Puppy Apprentice, look calm and sweet in this picture. Looks can be deceiving. Last night, they had a little trouble getting settled.

It was already dark, but not yet bedtime. I was working downstairs and not ready to go up. Maggie and Mamie started running in circles around me. 

"Do you need to go out?"

They ran toward the kitchen, and I followed. Before they reached the door, they turned around and ran the other way. They didn't need to go out, after all.

"Do you want to play?"

They stopped for a moment, and I assumed that meant yes. When I sailed one of their toys through the air for a game of fetch, no one moved. They didn't want to play, either.

They ran around me again, then headed toward the stairs. Finally. They wanted to go to bed. I headed up the stairs. They waited at the foot of the stairs, looking at me as if I was crazy. They didn't want to go to bed.

On and on it went. Finally, they gave up on me and went upstairs. I followed and put them both on the foot of the bed where they usually sleep. They're tired, I thought. I was wrong.

By the time I got downstairs, both dogs were barking like crazy. Maggie can jump off the bed, but it's too high for Mamie. I went back upstairs and got them both down. 

They didn't want to go downstairs. They didn't want to be upstairs. They didn't want to play, go outside, get a treat, or snuggle in my lap. I had no idea what they wanted. 

At last, I finished what I was doing and headed to bed, two disgruntled dogs following behind. When I hoisted them onto the bed again and climbed under the covers, they snuggled next to me and went sound asleep.

They didn't want anything but me.

We humans are so much like those little dogs. We run around and around, searching for satisfaction in many ways. Possessions. Big bank accounts. Fame. Children. Success. Travel. Pleasure. No matter how long we search, nor how enthusiastically we try, none of those will give us the deep, lasting satisfaction we crave. 

We don't realize it, but all we want is God. It is in Christ alone that we will find all that we desire. Peace. Satisfaction. Joy. Hope. 

Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and philosopher, wrote about this search.

"What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself." (Pensees, New York, Penguin Books, 1966)

In Athens, the Apostle Paul spoke of this search for meaning.

"He made them... that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, thought he is not far from each of us; for in Him we live and move and exist..." 
(Acts 17:26, 27 nasb)

They're both right. We were created to seek something to fill the void that is left by sin. Only God can fill that gnawing hole, and we will never be content until we fill our hearts with Him and His love.

Today, let's take our eyes off everything but Christ, our Cornerstone, in whom we are built together into a dwelling place for God. (Ephesians 2:22)

Our search for meaning begins and ends in Christ alone. Let's stop searching and look to Him.
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