As a youth pastor, I loved the nights we would do scavenger hunts. Actually I like any kind of hunt, and every year I would plan the Annual “Find Greg” Hunt- I’d leave clues, then go hide somewhere in town, and see what team could find me first. Okay, yeah, I had to offer prizes so they wouldn’t just leave me out there to wither and die.
The desire to “hunt” is within all of us. We are born searching for the thing that will satisfy the thirst in our souls. Most people label what they’re looking for as happiness. How many times do you hear people say,”I want to be/should be/deserve to be happy”. So, off they go on the pursuit of happiness. And they go… and go… and go. Occasionally, there’s a cry of “I found it!”, but after a short while, the happiness fades, they mutter under their breath,and we are back to the hunt, a little more jaded, a little more… empty. It doesn’t take long before we think the new car, the new computer, the new spouse, the new job, the new flavor of the month ice cream, the new whatever… will make us “happy”.
The problem is happiness, well, won’t make you happy. And the Evil One knows that we were created with a desire for a quenching in our souls, and loves to lure us on the latest and greatest scavenger hunt to lead us astray on the never ending, always fleeting, short lived,deceiving pursuit of happiness. The one thing he does not want us to find is the very thing that makes us complete and whole and quenched. That “very thing” is rest for our soul, the rest that God offers us if we will just let Him be our Strength, our Hope, and our All in All.
One of my very best friends showed me a verse that has become very special and powerful to me.
Psalms 62:1. “My soul finds rest in God alone” (NIV).
So when I find myself restless or troubled in my soul, and the Evil One comes along and tries to wow me with the latest and greatest thing or person or situation that will make me happy, it might take me awhile, but the truth of Psalms 62:1 comes to me, and I repeat the verse to myself, “My soul finds rest in God alone.” I highly recommend giving this practice a try. In those moments when I’m successful in focusing on God, I know I’ve found what I’m looking for.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.