“How much further do we have to dig to get to China?”
I think my friend Randy was kidding long ago when he, myself, and a number of other neighborhood boys dug a foxhole (complete with tunnel! Well, “tunnel” might be an overstatement…). Our excavation extended about five feet down into the nether regions and recesses of the earth. The project took so long to complete that Randy’s question actually didn’t seem as preposterous at the time as 45 years of hindsight now confirms. We dug and dug, and then dug some more to create our fortress, and while we hit water at some point (hopefully, not a city pipe!), we never reached China.
We had a great time in that foxhole. I identify it as one of those childhood memories that helps define my youth. I also think of it when considering the determination and diligence required to know God, as revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Holy Spirit.
“He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
This declaration of Scripture states and implies so much Truth that we could ponder it for a lifetime with little more than a cursory discovery of its meaning. When reading the words, I think of grace – “He that cometh to God” – only grace makes possible our approach. I consider faith – we must “believe that He is.” I ponder promise – “He is a rewarder.” And I sigh and bow my head in the realization that “diligently” too often does not describe my search for the living and true God.
We spent time and energy digging that long ago and faraway foxhole because we believed we would find something. Maybe not China (although it must be said that Randy was not, shall we say, the sharpest intellectual spade among our company. Thus, he may well have believed we would ultimately dig our way to another continent). The rest of us rather expected the reward of play and fun. That we received, to the degree that I still smile when thinking about the war games and athletic contests made possible by our dig. However, the memory also makes me wonder about my personal excavation of God to which the Bible calls those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Would my Heavenly Father describe my search as “diligent?” I am altogether certain that far too often, the answer to that question would not be pleasing to Him or to me.
I’d like to go back to that foxhole of the past, but I can’t. It no longer exists, a neighborhood having long ago sprung up and filled in our endeavor (moreover, a grown man playing army in a foxhole? Well…). More importantly, I cannot change the too many days gone by when I’ve failed to dig spiritually. I can acknowledge them in repentance and the faith that God offers to me this day of diligence wherein His Spirit calls me to come, to believe, and to experience the reward of seeking the very Life of my life. I won’t be disappointed, of course, and perhaps you join me in the realization of too many wasted days, but also, of the wonder of this day wherein the excavation of God beckons us to dig. Indeed, we won’t be disappointed…
“Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.”