I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently find Me.” Proverbs 8:17
Well, it sure wasn’t my thing. Each November we take a short vacation with the Guest tribe. Their tribe consists of my oldest daughter, Becca, her husband, Jonathan and three of my grandchildren, Faith, Hope, and Ethan. It’s usually a three- or four-day trip to the Smoky Mountains but this year the tour guide, Becca, decided we would go to Branson, Missouri. So, over the river and through the woods we went, and we all ended up in that Southwest Missouri vacation mecca.
The first day we went shopping before heading to the Sights and Sounds theater to see a production on the life of Jesus—more on that in another Grits. Shopping just isn’t my thing. We got to the outdoor mall and the boys went one way and the girls went another. I figured my chances were better with the guys. I mean whatever they wanted to look at had to beat girl stuff. Well, Jonathan and Ethan eat, sleep and breathe sports so naturally our shopping selections curved in that direction. The first stop was a shop that specialized in hats and shirts for the various team sports. We poked around for a while, liking this one and trashing another one—you know, the right team, wrong team thing. Soon, it was time to move on.
So down the mall a way, there was another sports shop called, “On the Ball Sports.” This store sold a good variety of sports memorabilia. It’s funny…neither store sold the tools of the trade but rather things that indicated what team or player you liked. We entered “sports heaven” and it was soon apparent that this was not going to be a short visit. We were there for the long haul, and it wasn’t what you might think that held us there. It wasn’t jerseys or hats; it wasn’t pictures or mugs—it was sports cards. I’m not even sure of the official name but they had guys, or mostly guys, pictures on them and described who and when they played.
It turned out that I discovered my grandson Ethan was totally into sports cards. This store had a very large selection and the young man working there was helpful and friendly. We looked and looked and then we looked some more. I discovered there might be, oh, a zillion cards for each player and based on their popularity and condition, they could be quite valuable. The most expensive card we saw was worth $850 dollars. I’m not sure why. I asked a lot of questions and got lots of answers but quickly determined I should stay with my day job and try some other investments.
Well, two days later, ok, that is an exaggeration, about an hour and a half later, we walked out of the store. While I had to take a couple of breaks from “card heaven” I did manage to stay there even though the Bass Pro Shop was next door. You might ask, “Dewayne, why didn’t you just go next door. Why did you stay in the card shop for so long if it wasn’t your thing?” Well, the answer really is quite simple. While it wasn’t my thing…it was my grandson’s thing, and I learned a long time ago that we should learn to love the things that those we love… love. Did you track with that?
Well, it goes like this. If you don’t like to shop but your wife does, you learn to love shopping. And, on the other hand, ma’am if your husband loves to fish, you might want to give it a try. And here is the great part. When you do that, you are showing love. The whole tribe made jokes about my stint in “card heaven” for the rest of the trip. It was fun and it kept the memory alive. Into the days, weeks, and months, I’m sure we will occasionally remember our time together in “card heaven.” Oh, and guess what Ethan is getting for Christmas. I promise you it is something he loves.
What is true in our human world is also true in our spiritual world. If you happen to be a Jesus follower, one of the surest ways to a close and personal relationship with Him is to learn to love the things that He loves. And the amazing thing is the things He loves always makes life better and they never carry any regrets or consequences. It is like following a guide who always knows the best fishing holes, the best golf courses, or the best places to hike. It is always…good.
Solomon, one of the smartest guys to ever live, wrote about God. Writing for God, he said, “I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently find Me.” Just like the time I spent leaning over the counter with my grandson, it is valuable to spend time with Him, leaning at the counter of life, asking questions, learning, and loving what He loves. Yup, it is always…good. And why not take it a step further and just believe and trust…even if you don’t understand, that, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne