The same word in the English language can mean radically different things when you compare how it is used between different individuals. One such word is “shopping”. I can finally admit that while buying in all of its forms is something I frequently do the similar but very different “serious” shopping is not within my skill set.
The leading indicator for this conclusion was the moment when Whitney at age twelve explicitly uninvited me to go shopping the day after Christmas. She did not mince any words in laying the facts out to me. I was not being invited because I did not know how to be a serious shopping. The tone and emphasis in her words left me with a firm understanding of her conviction and belief in the statements being laid out for me to listen and agree to. When I tried to explore the subject the clarification became even more graphic.
Even now I know that the girls talk about a serious shopping day I am not invited. I don’t mind this most of the time however I do fear that the statement and conclusions fit far too easily to any search that I take on.
Do I really understand what it means to seek God? Am I serious about the process or am I just going through the motions because it satisfies some floating bit of guilt or obligation? Would I recognize God if I arrived where God was and is? How about the other faces of God like wisdom, mercy, insight, understanding, and love?
“What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom! They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!” (Proverbs 17.16)
Do the attributes of a fool fit? Am I willing to admit the clothes that I tailor and wear proudly may directly conflict with the goals that I say I seek?
Learning to be real in what I look for is an early step. Recognizing what I am is another. Experiencing God is the ultimate step because in those moments in time you and I face our ultimate buying decision.