When you pursue God, you end up pursuing others, too.
I’ve been on both ends in recent months – the pursuit of others and the object of others’ pursuits.
We may want to hide because of our discomfort or shame or pride. Yes, sometimes we simply need some privacy, some recharge time. That’s different than hiding. We can retreat to establish healthy boundaries, but hiding from people often involves avoidance or fear.
We may hide from others as a reflection of trying to hide from God. We might even hide alongside others. They give us the false assurance that hiding is okay, because we’re doing it together. Someone else approves, so it must be okay.
But it’s not. Hiding keeps something in the dark, and that something grows. Without the revealing light of truth, without a reality check, we let our eyes become accustomed to the dark, and we rationalize what we see. We become okay with the limitations and begin to refuse to acknowledge there are any limitations at all.
When we actively pursue God, we have no choice but to walk in and by light. We move, and we step into new experiences. We’re uncomfortable at times, because we’re consistently challenged to grow and change. There is no hiding.
When we pursue God, we pursue people, because people are important to God. He wants us to influence others, and He wants others to influence us. That requires contact and relationship. It requires humility and assertiveness. It requires wisdom and learning.
And it means we will be pursued, too. Like when someone saw me tear up and step away from facing a group of people. A friend pursued me down the hallway where I intended to temporarily hide my tears. She turned me around and looked me in the eyes and said, “There are people out there who love you in the middle of your mess. Let them love you.”
It wasn’t comfortable, but it was good.
That’s what pursuit often is, whether it’s the pursuit of God or the pursuit of people: it’s often not comfortable, but it is good.