Sunday, November 04, 2007
Looking In The Right Place
Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn and to the quarry from which you were dug. (Isaiah 51:1)
What a great verse, tucked away here in the book of Isaiah, about how we can find righteousness! This sounds like something the Apostle Paul might have said. If we want to be righteous, we need to look in the right place. The place to look is to the Rock of Ages, the One in whom we find our very life.
The pursuit of righteousness is a God-given desire, but for those of us who know Christ the search is over. For a Christian to keep looking for righteousness through what he does is a waste of time and completely unneccesary. An illustration may make my point:
Some time ago as I was about to leave our home, I picked up my keys and my money clip from the table beside my chair in the living room. My sunglasses weren't there. I went to my desk in my home office and they weren't there either. "Have you seen my sunglasses?" I yelled to Melanie, who was in the other room. "No, I haven't seen them," she answered.
I always keep my sunglasses beside my chair on that table. So I went back into the living room and looked again. Nope, they weren't there. So back to my desk I went to more carefully look. (This is a ridiculous habit I have, looking in the same places more than once when I've lost something.) The glasses still weren't there.
"Are you sure you didn't move them when you were cleaning?" I yelled to Melanie again. "I haven't touched them," she answered. "Maybe I left them beside the bed on the nightstand," I thought. But they weren't there either.
Now I was beginning to get frustrated. I knew that my sunglasses didn't just disappear and I knew that Melanie had cleaned the living room earlier in the day. It doesn't take a genius (just a husband) to put two and two together. "Melanie," I called, "you must have moved them. They aren't where I left them." "I haven't touched your glasses," Melanie said from the other room in a way that let me know I was pushing the envelope. "Why in the world would she move them and then not remember?" I silently thought to myself.
Then the thought occurred to me that I would check in the bathroom. I knew I had never felt a need to wear my sunglasses in there before, but I'd check just to be sure. I went into the bathroom and looked all around the bathtub and toilet. Just as I suspected - no sunglasses. I turned to glance around the sink and . . . then, um, I, ugh, caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. There they were - pushed back on my head. I had been wearing them the whole time. The thing I had been looking so diligently for, I already had. I thought the prudent thing would be to simply tell Melanie I found them in the bathroom if she asked. She really didn't need more information than that. Thankfully, she didn't ask.
My search for my sunglasses isn't unlike the search many people conduct in an attempt to become more righteous. We try to find it in the church. Then we look in our daily Bible reading to see if it can be found there. Then we try to find it in our prayer life. All the while, the righteousness we are trying to find is already ours. We need only to look to "the Head," to Jesus Himself. What we are looking for, we already have because Christ, the Head of the church is our very Life.
The good news of grace is that you can stop searching for righteousness. Just look to your Source. Christ is your righteousness. You can relax.