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Seek so as to find delight

The one who seeks good finds delight...(Proverbs 11:27) It is sometimes quite hard for us to differentiate between what we need and what we want. Every now and again, my BFF will tell me someone is a little 'needy' that day - usually because they seem to constantly be requiring some type of intervention from us that usually isn't part of the normal course of the day. Figuring out what it is that we really have "need" of in our lives is a hard thing for some of us, while others seem to hit the nail on the head almost instantly.  We have lots and lots of "wants" that we often confuse as "needs" in our life.  Sometimes it may be something like desiring a better job instead of being grateful for the one we have.  The desire is a "want", while the actual job we have meets the "need". Needs and wants aren't always even all that close - in fact, what we need can be the furthest thing from what it is we want (such as eating a piece of fruit instead of a bowl of ice cream).

We sometimes find ourselves searching for things that have little significance or importance in our lives, but that search captivates our attention, affects our attitude, and even sets us up for a little animosity within relationships. Search basically has three definitions, with the first pointing to this idea of looking into something so carefully or thoroughly with our effort being exerted because we desire to find or discover something.  The idea is this "thoroughness" of examination that we put something (or someone) through before we embrace it (or reject it).  There is a desire to know the "ins and outs" of what it is we are examining - nothing being left that we don't discover in our examination. This type of searching / examining is usually a good thing when we are weighing our options about what type of mattress to buy, or what car will meet our needs while getting good gas mileage. Yet, this type of 'searching' alone is not usually enough - we need to consider two other aspects of the 'search' if we are to understand how we are to differentiate between needs and wants.

There is the need to explore something by inspecting possible places of concealment - because not every need is apparent.  Usually, when we are seeking in this manner it is because we "really" want to find something that we consider important to us - knowing it will be the very thing we need to take care of that need we are experiencing.  It is like when we put something away "so carefully", only to discover that we don't remember where we put it when we need it!  The hunt is on - and we leave no area unexplored until we find the exact thing we need! There are times when the greatest 'inspection' we allow in our lives will help us to discover the true intention or nature behind our needs and actions.  This is probably the most significant part of searching because it moves us from "head knowledge" (knowing something) into a place of "heart knowledge" (knowing why something is the way it is).  This type of searching gets at the root of our need.

As I said, the significance of a need isn't always apparent until the need is felt the greatest. Sometimes the need is conveyed obscurely or indirectly.  In other words, the importance of what it is we are seeking is not always obvious (it may be found only when we "peel back the layers"). There are times we convey something as important in our search, only to find there may arise other things that rise to the level of 'greater importance' in our search.  We often refer to something as "significant" whenever we have elevated that thing or person to a place of importance in our lives. I might not even know I have a plumbing leak until I am in search of that object hidden in the rear of the kitchen cabinet, but when I seek the object, I see the thing with the greater importance. It is quite possible what is important to you may not be as important to me, so this means that significance is determined by how an individual "relates" to something or someone, or the timing of thing that is discovered.

Significant time and effort goes into discovering something that reveals meaning in our lives.  We sometimes refer to something, an event, or an individual as significant because there is meaning conveyed in the contact with that thing, person or event. It is remembered and recounted all that vividly because of the meaning we attach to the thing. There are times when the most 'significant' thing isn't always known to us - but in the course of time, we come to discover the thing we have been given isn't there by chance. There are things in our lives that happen that are purposeful - not just a cosmic event of "chance".  There are people in our lives placed there for a season - not just by "chance", but to fulfill a purpose.  When we begin to realize that the event or the person is not just there "by chance", we begin to explore the event or relationship so as to discover the purpose (the real significance in our lives). In so doing, we begin to see how our 'need' is being met by that which we are discovering.

There is one thing I've discovered in my walk on this earth - if we don't know what it is that we are going after, we will never know if we are successful in our search. If we are aimless, we will hit something, but we seldom hit the target! In order to know what it is we are aiming for, we must know what we are searching for, why this thing / person / event is so important to us at this point in our life, and who is it that we are willing to share this search with?  We are never expected to "seek" alone - nor to always recognize our 'need' on our own. We are given each other for the purpose of walking this journey together. The "search" is on - who is it that you will partner with in this search? Just askin!


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