The Laboratory of Life

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Isaiah 55:6 says, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.”

Proverbs 8:17 promises, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.”

Jeremiah 29:13, likewise, promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

1 Chronicles 16:11 exhorts us, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”

Perhaps most famously, Jesus, in Matthew 7:7-12, says, ““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Jesus then assures his hearers of God’s goodness, saying, ““Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

But then interestingly, right on the tails of his invitation to ask God for anything, Jesus offers a command: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Seeking doesn’t only involve asking, it involves acting.

Seeking is an invitation. And it is open to everyone. I can respond to the invitation to seek everyday. I can ask, and I can act. Then, I can see what happens. Just like in lab work, I can develop a hypothesis, I can conduct an experiment, I can make observations, and I can evaluate the results. The hypothesis is simple: God is active and at work in our world and in my life, invites me to seek him, and in seeking him, I will find him.

In Letters by a Modern Mystic, Frank Laubach put this to the test. In his ministry, he saw those of another faith seeking obedience to God. He was challenged, not only as a human being, but as a Christian. He wanted to be in fellowship with God, and to live a life of faithfulness. He believed Christianity was true. Since he believed God was active and at work in the world, inviting us to seek him, and that in seeking him, we could find him, he gave it a try. In his journals, Laubach wrote:

But this year I have started out trying to live all my walking moments in conscious listening to the inner voice, asking without ceasing, ‘What, Father, do you desire said? What, Father, do you desire done this minute?’

It is clear that this is exactly what Jesus was doing all day every day. But it is not what His followers have been doing in very large numbers.

What would occur if more of Jesus followers did this every day, all day?

It sounds like a worthwhile experiment. Let’s try it, and see.

Discern, then Respond

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