Friday, January 10

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The Way of Truth: January 10
I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.
—Psalm 119:32, nlt
Have you ever encountered a true treasure before—something rare and valuable and irreplaceable? When you find that precious thing or person, you know immediately that you will do anything to bring it into your possession—or to reclaim it if it somehow gets separated from you. You don’t just sit back and hope it will happen to land in your lap; you chase after it; you pursue it.
When a collector is seeking the final piece to round out his or her collection, that person will search high and low for the prized item. When athletes are seeking to win a championship, they will invest countless hours of training in hopes that they will win. When a man loves a woman, he pursues her, expending his energy and time and money to win her heart.
I grew up in a rural area, and one summer evening my family got a frantic phone call just as dusk was falling. A family friend was on the line. “My daughter and her friend are missing!” she exclaimed, her voice nearly hysterical. They had started a phone chain, asking friends from church to form a search party to look for the two nine-year-olds who had somehow disappeared. Their farmhouse was surrounded by cornfields, and the stalks were taller than the girls’ heads. Now that it was getting dark, the parents were becoming desperate.
The girls were eventually found, frightened but unharmed, shortly after we arrived. But the memory seared onto my mind that night wasn’t the image of the lost girls who had been found; it was the expression of joy and relief on the faces of the parents. They would have gone to any lengths to pursue their greatest treasure.
And so it is with truth. When we recognize that truth is indeed a treasure, we aren’t passive about it; we actively seek it out, pursuing it and making it one of the building blocks of our lives.
The New Living Translation renders Psalm 119:32 this way: “I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding” (emphasis added). The New International Version says, “I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding” (emphasis added). Both translations indicate a sense of urgency—an active, intentional chasing-after.
In his prayer, the psalmist says, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:37), implying that he knows that only God and his Word are of ultimate worth, and everything else pales in comparison.
Nineteenth-century clergyman and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher describes how easily truth can pass us by if we aren’t actively looking for it: “God sends ten thousand truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away.”
In what ways would your life look different if you pursued truth with the same single-minded intensity as a collector seeking a treasured item, a man seeking his beloved, a parent seeking a missing child?

—Stephanie Rische

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