Seeking the Prize
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)
When I was young we would often go over to my grandparent’s house. I have many memories from time spent at their house. Let me share with you one of my favorite memories. Do you remember getting those boxes of cereal with a special treasure inside? It wasn’t just a sticker or a worthless piece of plastic; the item was a real toy. It was always something like a little doll, a yo-yo, a silly straw, glow in the dark pen, a matchbox car, a view master slide, or even a tiny terrarium that you could grow real plants. The items to a child seemed priceless, yet I am sure I was not the only child in a grocery store to hear, “We are not buying that cereal just for the toy.”
I clearly remember the feeling of seeing a new box of cereal on my grandparents counter and then my anticipation for the toy would start. Sometimes even if it was the evening Grandma would open the cereal box (they were larger then) and peer into the box. Then she would move the pile of paper clutter from the counter so we could climb up and sit with bended knees onto the kitchen bar stools to have a better look. She would hold open the box and let us look inside too. She had a little flashlight we sometimes used and even a big spoon. She would shake it around for us and even let us reach in and try to find it even though we could not see it. At times Trix, Sugar Smacks, or Fruity Pebbles would even start to make a mess spilling onto the counter.
Soon my brother and I would call for Grandpa to step in to help as we munched on dry pieces of cereal from the counter. The excitement was building in our quest and we couldn’t wait to hold the prize we so desired and be able to call it “mine.” Grandpa would get a huge bowl and begin to pour the entire box of cereal out into the bowl. We always made him stop along the way just so we could peer inside the box in case we could see it with less in the box. Sometimes he would tease and say, “Maybe they forgot to put one in this box,” but my brother and I were determined to find it. Nothing was stopping us from believing, the prize was inside.
I can’t help to think about those cereal box situations today and think about the behavior of my brother and I. We would do whatever it took to find the prize. Our expectation always proved to be right and we always found what we were seeking. There was never a time in which we just waited for the prize to fall out into the bowl as we poured our cereal. We used the help of resources and we would always seek whole-heartedly. The anticipation was great but the prize seemed to be greater. Once we had the prize in our hands we showed everyone. It changed the course of the day.
In the book of Jeremiah we are instructed to seek the Lord wholeheartedly in the New Living Translation (NLT) and are told we will find Him. We must be reminded it may not always be easy. We may have to use additional resources and maybe other people will also help us along the way. We may have to clear some of the clutter around us so nothing gets in our way as we seek Him. We have to stay focused even when the world tells us differently. We must keep our eyes on the prize. Once you have the prize in your life your day will be good. Life will be good. Not that you will have no problems but you will have a different outlook on life while you have the Lord in your life. Once you have the Lord in your life you will actually want to show others how special He is to you.
I realize having the Lord present in your life does not compare with the prizes found in cereal boxes but we just need to remember the attitude we possessed while seeking those cereal toys as children and compare it to the manner in which we seek Him daily.
Research tells us we should eat breakfast daily and we also know we need to be fed spiritually too. So, have the spirit of a child to wholeheartedly seek Him daily and you will find Him!!