But you, man of God… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
1. to follow in order to overtake, capture, kill, etc.; chase. 2. to follow upon; attend 3. to strive to attain or accomplish. …. 11. to continue
The concept of pursuit is neutral. It is neither bad nor good all on it’s own. Which camp the idea of pursuing falls into depends on the actions of the person / animal / group / organization involved.
In my dictionary there are 11 possible definitions for the word pursue. I’d like to zero in on the 3rd and 11th. But before we get there, I believe that if you look around you, whether in your classroom, on TV, at your church or at Starbucks on any given weekday, you will find and hear people who are pursuing any number of things. Sometimes, maybe often times, people are pursuing things that are neither healthy (Charlie Sheen) or beneficial to themselves, their communities or the world at large.
As I move into what I hope to be another 40 years I would love for my life to be one of pursuit. But pursuit when it comes in the form of number 3 and 11.
I don’t want to arrive at the end of my life with the image of one who floated along, but rather one who strove for something that was bigger than himself and that benefitted the world around him. I’m not ignorant though, and I realize that life can be difficult. It’s easy to be distracted from those things that are positive. Life gets busy, life gets hard, it’s not an easy ride… but that’s why I love the word pursue, because its active. I screams intentional, focus, on target. The first time I thought about the word I thought of the cheetah pursue a gazelle. It is zeroed in on it’s goal and it’s moving for it.
The second definition is, to continue. Often in our life I believe that when it gets hard, we find resistance, hills, bumps on the road, it’s easy to quit. This is where the cheetah example falls short. The cheetah can only go for a short while and if it doesn’t overtake it’s next meal it has to give up it’s chase. But for me I like the 11. example of pursue, because it says we don’t give up, we move forward, we continue regardless of the obstacles along the way.
The catch is… what is it we’re trying to accomplish and what is it that we are committed to continuing on for. If it’s not a worthy goal then the pursuit will most likely come to an end. Or if it’s not a worthy target, when we achieve it, we may come up empty as it wasn’t a worthy pursuit in the first place. How sad that day would be.
For me, the goal must be a God given goal in order to be sure of it’s worth. That’s why I love the verse and the things that I (we) are called to pursue: righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
How would my life be different if these are the character traits that defined my actions, words, life. What impact would I have?
What are you pursuing?