. . . let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
I waited a long time for that first strawberry. This was the first year I have tried growing them. Several different varieties appealed to me at the garden center, so I took four of them home. They have become large, green and lovely, sending off shoots into the world, increasing before my eyes. As I watched them develop, I began to imagine the taste of fresh strawberries. I wondered what it would be like to eat a salad or a muffin with strawberries I had raised from my own garden. Now, a few months later, I am still waiting for that information. I have been the proud grower (and consumer) of one strawberry. Few other strawberries have grown, and those that have were fated to be lunch for birds and bugs long before I found them.
I am not sad about this. The experience was an enjoyable and educational one, and I still have the pleasure derived from my garden and the work of tending it. I am in the process of learning to rejoice in the seeking.
On this theme, one of my favorite blogs, RevGalBlogPals, has asked readers to list five things we are seeking. This follows the scripture above – the lectionary text – and the idea that rejoicing comes from the seeking, not only from the finding or the arriving. Here are my five.
1. I am seeking to know God better.
2. I am seeking to know and accept myself as the person God has made.
3. I am seeking to grow strong children and build a strong family.
4. I am seeking good health for myself, my community and world through good food, good stories and good relationships.
5. I am seeking to lead others to the Way that leads to life.
I realize as I write that my “seekings” are hardly original, and yet they are deeply mine. They are the things I yearn for. The active practice of them fills not only my time, but my heart in each moment.
For much of my life, I expected happiness to occur as soon as . . . There was always some goal, some status, some attainment that I thought would make me the person that I wanted to be. It has taken me nearly to midlife to learn that this isn’t so. The only time happiness can be felt is now. We experience it in the present or not at all.
There is much to be said for hope and for memory. We look back and celebrate God’s faithfulness as we have witnessed it over and over in our lives. We look ahead believing – however unwelcoming our circumstances – that God will continue to shelter us and hold our lives as dear and priceless items.
But we find happiness and satisfaction only by acknowledging the profound worth of this present instant. We find contentment believing that the path we are on is exactly where we need to be; accepting the breathtaking quality of our current scenery, no matter how mundane it may seem at a glance.
Celebrate where you are now. God is celebrating with you.
The recipe below doesn’t have strawberries, but it is from the Bass Family and Friends Cookbook. I hope you enjoy it.
Marcia Dotson’s Pineapple Dish
1 can apple pie mix ½ c. sugar
1 can pineapple tidbits 1 stick margarine
2 T. flour
Mix and pour into baking dish. Top with pkg. crushed Ritz crackers and 1 stick melted margarine. Brown at 350o until brown. – Eunice Henderson
Note: I used less butter and sugar which worked fine. I used pineapple chunks which didn’t. I recommend the tidbits.