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The Thrill of the Chase

November 12th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 8: 32-36 (NLT)

 32 “And so, my children, listen to me,
      for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise.
      Don’t ignore it.
34 Joyful are those who listen to me,
      watching for me daily at my gates,
      waiting for me outside my home!
35 For whoever finds me finds life
      and receives favor from the L
36 But those who miss me injure themselves.
      All who hate me love death.”


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

There’s a bit of a mystery to romance.  What am I saying . . . the whole stinking thing is a mystery!  It’s like a mystery wrapped up in a quandary wrapped up in a conundrum.  Boy meets girl.  Boy likes girl.  Boy musters up courage to say hi to girl.  Boy trips over his own feet on his journey across the cafeteria and spills his tray of tapioca pudding all over girl’s best friend.  Ah, it’s a tale as old as time.

One of the most confounding elements of romance has to be what love specialists call “the chase.”  Now, I’m no expert, but I am fairly familiar with the chase.  As a young man, it would ensue once I had acknowledged that I liked a certain female.  I didn’t even have to actually tell her; telling any friend, male or female, would suffice.  All that was necessary was the release of the knowledge into the adolescent forest and the woodland creatures (or teenagers) would do the rest.  Like rumor carrier pigeons, one’s secret confession would be certain to find it’s way to the very person you were trying to hide it from.  That’s nature, I suppose.

Next, came the initial reaction of the female that initiated the sequence start of the chase.  Sure it would be easier for the female in question to simply walk up to the terrified young man and say, “Hey, I like you too,” or “Listen, I think you’re great friend, but I’m not interested in anything more.”  Oh, but if females were to respond in such a manner, then there would be no chase and the very miniscule fabric of the collective universe would unravel.  No, there must be a chase!

Seemingly startled by the news, the young lady would begin broadcasting a series of spoken and unspoken messages as complicated as the World War II windtalkers.  To one friend, she releases the information that she thinks the young man is cute and is intrigued by him.  To another, she indicates that she’s not really interested.  Still, to a third party, she confesses that there’s a fifty-fifty chance she might like him.  Thus the scurrying about and exchange of conflicting data begins, all to the chagrin of the simpleminded boy. Dance puppets!

It would take weeks, or even months, for the real reality of the girl’s feelings to be revealed in a manner understandable to the boy’s limited “chase” intelligence.  Hey, he just wants to know if she likes him.  Ah, my friend, don’t muddy the water with logic!  This is romance we’re talking about!  No room for making sense here.  Just keep chasing her if you want a chance to buy her a milkshake or some Ju Ju Beans.  Keep chasing!

And if he really likes her, he will.  

Though I certainly don’t claim to understand the beautiful intricacies of the female psyche, I have developed a hypothesis about the chase.  Perhaps it is a test of the boy’s genuine level of interest in the girl.  Like the reality show “Wipeout, only those who really want the prize are willing to run through the mud and repeatedly faceplant themselves on national television.  The obstacle course has a way of weeding out those who don’t have the stamina or the dedication to win.  Such is the chase: it reveals how much the boy really likes the girl.

There is a “chase” in our relationship to wisdom as well.  Just absorb this passage and listen to wisdom as she calls us to run after her.  “Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!”  Sheeze Louise!  That’s some chase!  Watch for wisdom at the gates.  Wait for wisdom outside her home.  What kind of pathetic loser would go to those crazy lengths for a relationship?

One who really loves wisdom, that’s who.

Though I’ve made out “the chase” to be an indictment against females (all in good fun, obviously), the truth is that there is an adventure when we pursue the one we love.  When I was dating Laura, I wrote poetry.  I hid presents for her to find.  I would drive four hours to her college just to surprise her outside of her class. No amount of trouble was too much for the one I love.  Still isn’t, for that matter. 

Like Laura, wisdom isn’t running from us.  No, it desires that we find it.  However, wisdom doesn’t just settle down with anyone who casually expresses interest in possessing it.  There is a price to be paid.  A game to be played.  A chase to be initiated.  That chase will entail searching for wisdom daily in the recesses of God’s Word.  It will require us to stand out in the rain where most are unwilling.  It requires some level of humiliation . . . or humility.  It means that we must desire to understand the principles of God’s knowledge above the shallow payoffs of this world.  

There’s a thrill in the chase!  We mustn’t become frustrated that we aren’t instantly wise overnight.  No, we must pursue Godly wisdom as we would run after the relationship of our dreams.  We must camp outside wisdom’s house and remain patient until she shows up.  It’s a waiting game.  Oh, but the good part is that getting to know the principles of Godly wisdom on a daily basis is never disappointing. No, it’s worth the wait.  It’s worth the effort.  And besides, if you find wisdom, you find something much greater . . . “life.”  

So how bad do you really want to know wisdom?  You better get ready to climb to the top of the water tower with a can of spray paint . . . spiritually, of course.


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