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There’s a moose loose aboot the hoose

13th June 2017

 It was the holiday of a lifetime, a fly-drive around New England in the Fall. Stopping by the gleaming white church in a picture-postcard village, we got talking to a man who was collecting acorns to feed the chipmunks (or so he said). He told us about his son’s recent marriage, and how the couple had gone to Canada on honeymoon, because the bride had always wanted to see a moose. They combed the countryside for miles in every direction, but came away disappointed; not a single moose to be seen. Tired, they drew up outside the marital home and – you guessed it – there was a moose in their back yard, grinning a welcome (in so far as a moose can grin).

How far would you go to see a moose? Or to gratify your dearest wish? Serious bird watchers will travel halfway round the globe to see a rare species, whether to gaze in wonder at God’s creation or to tick it off their list. They’ll be working from a detailed description (such as “Large brown animal with antlers and a lugubrious expression”) and they’ll know precisely where to look; and seeking becomes their passion.

How hard do we look for Jesus? It used to be fashionable to say that everybody had a “God-shaped hole” that yearned to be filled – but the new atheism doesn’t allow for such fancies. We need to be aware of how important it is to meet and follow Jesus, how to recognise his presence, and where he is to be found. Do we start in church? Perhaps, but don’t rule anywhere out. Do we expect a bearded, tanned figure in a white cloak? Let’s not be so restrictive. What priority should we give the search? “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33), and all else that we wish for will follow. Look for the moose in the back yard; it’s so simple and so rewarding.

© Chris Thomas 2015 SN42

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