in march i was asked to contribute a bi-weekly column for a couple of local newspapers in the area where i am pastor. they are usually pretty short (column space requires 400 words or less) and it is often a struggle to fit in what i want to say.(i also have to use capitalization, which takes me longer than you can imagine to type less than 400 words…)

but the column i have submitted this week came pretty easy to me. my moppy headed birthday boy did most (all) of the work…
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Chasing after birds…

My two yr. old son, Charlie, loves birds. His favorite activity is chasing them. He has spent up to an hour at a time running after birds, trying to catch them. Each time the result is the same. As he gets about ten feet away, laughing and screaming “TWEET TWEETS! TWEET TWEETS!” the birds fly away. Then he simply turns to me, smiles a huge smile and says “tweet tweets fly away!” And undeterred, he finds another bird, and is off.

Recently while observing him in his favorite activity, I had the urge to try to explain to him that he could never catch a bird by chasing it. But as I continued to watch him with my adult eyes seeing only failure after failure, what began to capture my attention was the utter joy my son was experiencing. Through the panting, sweating, and dirty hands and feet, my little boy, in his joy, demonstrated to his thirty-one year old father that there can be joy in pursuing the unattainable.

Over and over again, the Lord calls His people to holiness. (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:22-24; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16) As Christians, those who have repented of their sins and placed their faith and hope in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and His righteousness applied to them, we are still very aware of our own failure to be holy. Though we know we should pursue holiness, we may often feel that our efforts are in vain- after all, no one is or ever will be perfect, right? Why bother trying so hard?

To know why we should keep pursuing holiness, we need look no further than the “author and perfecter of our faith”, who scripture tells us endured the wrath of God poured out on Him on the cross, “for the JOY set before Him” (Hebrews 12:1-2). The pleasure of pleasing our Father in heaven, of living a life of obedience that comes from the overflow of our love for Him, should bring us so much pleasure, that even when we fail to be perfectly holy each day, our joy is in pursuing it as hard as we can.

So you keep chasing those birds, son. And may God use me to teach you about Him, as much as He is using you to teach me.

chasing birds with a bubble mower

chasing birds with a bubble mower

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