I have countless books at home and in my classroom containing amazing works of art from around the world and throughout time. As much as I enjoy looking through the pages of these books, it does not compare to seeing the work in person. Van Gogh has always been one of my favorite artists. His work masterfully employs color, texture, and composition to evoke such strong emotional responses. Though I gained a love and appreciation or his work through looking at books, it was not till I saw his work face to face that I truly understood its impact. Seeing his work up close allowed me to observe the very marks he made. I tried to take in as much as I could in those fleeting moments. I truly was overwhelmed by the experience. It was like being on "holy ground". As I left the museum, I knew I wanted to learn even more about Van Gogh and discover images of his work that I had never seen before. Getting to see his work up close made my appreciation for his work even greater.
Do we know what it means to earnestly seek God? Maybe we've grown up going to church, knowing the "stories", and passively participating in things of faith. There may have been a time where you might have said you were passionate about your relationship with God. You may have had a "mountain top" experience that fanned the flames of your faith for a period of time. However, now there is just a flicker or smoldering ember remaining. How do we get to the point where we are earnestly seeking God....thirsting for Him...longing for Him? We must get up close to God. We can't set passively by and expect things to change. Being in prayer, reading our Bible, spending time with other people of faith allows us to get up close (and personal) with God. We will begin to see the masterful plan He has for our life and for the lives of those around us. We must be able to draw close, to study, and to experience first hand the things of faith so that our lives are impacted by it. It is one thing to know it "second hand".....but when you have an up close experience....it will cause you to seek Him all the more!