Looking For God?

Tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. —Matthew 21:31

My wife and I were having dinner with another couple at a fishing lodge in Montana. It was interrupted when a fellow fisherman in a drunken rant began to regale us with tales of the houses of ill-repute he had visited.

Though his comments were crass and offensive, I caught a note of pathos in his voice and thought of something G. K. Chesterton had said: “Even when men knock on the door of a brothel they’re looking for God.”

Chesterton was right. Many desires are evidence of a deeper hunger for God. This man, who seemed so far from God, was closer than he realized.

Every man knows he was made for lofty pursuits, yet he easily wanders into paths that demean and debase him. He becomes less manly than he ought to be, and he knows it. There’s a nagging feeling that he ought to be something more. Some cover it up with self-righteousness, as the Pharisees did, or else they ignore it. Others know they have lost their way. That elusive feeling, when followed up, may bring them to God.

“Tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you,” Jesus told the Pharisees (Matthew 21:31). That’s why I think the drunken fisherman is much more likely to repent than the Pharisees were.

Our heart is made for God alone,
  For only He can satisfy;
  But oh how much we yearn for things
  That in the end are but a lie.

D. DeHaan

Within each one of us there is a God-shaped vacuum that only God can fill.


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