Yesterday was a pretty important day in my life. It has been a pretty special day for me since 1978. One of those pivotal moments that forever altered my life and its course happened on that date. Which is why yesterday morning I woke up and texted my brother, and one of my best friends, happy birthday.
What? Not what you expected? Yeah, I know. Most people who know about May the 4th would think that I, being a Star Wars fan, would have decked out in a Han Solo shirt, watched all nine movies, and practiced my lightsaber skills. Nope. If truth be known I didn't even realize "May the 4th be with you" was a thing until less than 10 years ago. My brother's birth still holds precedence over Star Wars.
This isn't the only thing people assume about me. It is also assumed that I have always loved volleyball and coaching. Nope. I wouldn't walk across the street (we literally lived across the street) in high school to watch my own sister play volleyball. When I first started teaching in Mellette I wouldn't walk the 2 blocks to watch the best team in the state play. Prior to my coaching volleyball I had gone to two, yes TWO, volleyball matches. They were both at the state tournament in 2004. I started coaching the next year.
Oh, and by the way, I hate coaches. I have since my sophomore year in high school. The fact that I myself coach is God's sense of humor.
I could go on and on about the assumptions people make of me. But all of you have the same thing happening to you. People see you from a distance and assume things. You are mean. You are nice. You are reserved. You are the life of the party. You kick small dogs. You take in stray cats. I would put it to you that this falls on me and others for not getting close enough to discover who that person truly is.
If this was just about other people it would be sad enough, but unfortunately we do the same thing with Jesus and with God. We listen to what others say. We make assumptions based on what we see, but rarely do we lean in close enough to actually find out who they truly are. Jeremiah writes, "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) God isn't hiding somewhere. He wants to be found. We therefore must be willing to seek. Where do we do that? In His word, in studies and worship services, and being around other seekers.
When I began coaching volleyball I wanted to know everything about it. I watched video, went to trainings, and listened to the best coaches. I immersed my self in it. This is what Jeremiah is talking about when he says "all your heart". Are you ready and willing to immerse yourself completely into discovering who Jesus Christ is? Do you desire to have a thriving relationship with God the Father? Then jump in. And the payoff is found in vs. 14, "I will be found by you."
And this will be the true God, not the one you have created from your assumptions.
Happy Birthday, Nate!