What are You Chasing?
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
We can spend our whole life chasing dreams, toys, and adventure only to end up tired, alone, and empty. If all we’re chasing is our own happiness, we’re chasing after the wind. When we pursue the things of God, we will find lasting joy, adventure, and eternal treasures. I’ve found the greatest pleasures in life often come from giving rather than getting… a simple truth that even a child understands:
I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping in a toy store and decided to look at Barbie dolls for my nieces. I noticed a nicely dressed little girl enthusiastically browsing — a roll of money clamped tightly in her little hand. Whenever she spied a Barbie she liked, she’d turn and ask her father if she had enough money to buy it. He usually said “yes”, but she kept looking, repeating the ritual over and over, searching for the perfect treasure.
A little boy wandered in across the aisle and started sorting through the Pokémon toys. He was dressed neatly, but wore a jacket that looked to be a couple of sizes too small and well worn. He, too, had money in his hand, but it looked to be no more than five dollars or so. He and his father had a similar ritual, his father faintly shaking his head as the young lad touched various video games and searched his father’s eyes.
The little girl chose a beautifully dressed, glamorous doll — sure to be the envy of every little girl on the block. She suddenly stopped, watching the interchange between the little boy and his father. The boy reluctantly gave up on the video games and chose a book of stickers instead. He and his father started walking through another aisle and disappeared. The little girl paused, smiled and put her Barbie back on the shelf. She spoke with her father and dashed over to the Pokémon games, picking up one lying on top and raced toward the registers.
I picked out my own purchases and got in line behind them. Then, much to the little girl’s obvious delight, the little boy and his father got in line behind me. After the toy was paid for and bagged, the little girl handed it back to the cashier and whispered something in her ear. The cashier smiled, putting the package under the counter.
I paid for my purchases and lingered, watching the little boy come up to the cashier. She rang up his purchases and then exclaimed, “Congratulations, you are my hundredth customer today, and you win a prize!” With that, she handed the little boy the Pokémon game. He stared in disbelief — just what he’d wanted.
The little girl and her father were standing at the doorway watching. I saw the biggest, prettiest grin on that little girl that I’ve ever seen in my life. As she walked out the door, I followed close enough behind to hear her talk to her father. Amazed and delighted at what I’d just witnessed, I heard the father ask his daughter why she had done that. I’ll never forget what she said to him. “Nana and Paw Paw wanted me to buy something that would make me happy… and I just did.” Then she giggled and skipped off toward their car… and I smiled deep inside.
That’s what I love… the lasting joy of giving. Jesus came to give us the ultimate gift: everlasting life. He longs to watch us receive it.
How can you apply this verse to this season of joy? “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure…Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:10–11)
What neighbor or friend needs your love this season? “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
Suggestion for Prayer
Receive God’s ultimate gift and ask Him how you can share it with others! Part of the joy of our salvation is letting others know about the baby Jesus who died on Calvary’s cross.
Jim Grassi, D. Min.