Seek God First!

During springtime, mid-April to early May, in the wooded areas of Illinois, you will find a search underway for the much-treasured morel mushrooms. The timing for this quest is dependent upon the warming temperatures and amount of rainfall.  Individuals of all ages can be seen carefully combing undisturbed acres of shady timber and moist leafy places for the emerging signs of these delectable varieties of edible fungus. Morels as large as your palm and as small as an inch or two can be found in colors that often blend into the terrain – golden yellows, reddish rusts, and shiny blacks.

My Sis, Bren's Find

This ritual hunt has become a rite of passage for many a young person. The only equipment recommended, aside from a light step and keen eye, is a walking stick and of course, a bag to contain the harvest! My grandchildren and their daddy didn’t have to walk far from their house in our suburban village to find enough morels to share with the grandparents. This batch of morels was salt-soaked overnight, then rinsed, egg-washed, breaded with Panko crumbs and lightly pan-fried to perfection the next day. Poppi enjoyed them during a monster breakfast the next morning!

Poppi's Monster
Mushroom Breakfast!

Mushroom hunting is not easy! I have walked over, even on, some of them while trying to spot them! You must take the time to focus your eyes between sunny and shady areas of ground cover. The payback comes in finding one or two morels and then being surprised that there are usually several more in that area! One thing you learn is that most experienced “mush-roomers” are notoriously secretive about the locations of their searches and finds. They are not likely to give away the whereabouts of their mushrooming to others!

One of the key words in the Bible is seek. This is an intensive, strong word usually used as a command to search for, aim at, and even crave in looking for or going after something valuable. Jesus taught, regarding prayer, that we are to persistently “Keep on asking… keep on seeking… keep on knocking” to receive and find what we are seeking from God’s gracious hand. (Matthew 7:7-8). At the conclusion of Jesus’ teaching against needless worry, He counsels his disciples to “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33, NLT).

I tend to be easily discouraged if the answers do not come quickly. I confess to being impatient in my praying and thus succumb to pointless worry. The word “seek” reminds me that God wants me to focus my attention, my will and indeed, my whole life upon Him to the degree that I consider everything in my life to be offered at His disposal. There is no greater life-priority than this consciousness that God rules, reigns, and deserves the highest priority “above all else!”

Most parents know the panicked feeling of searching for a missing child in a busy grocery or department store. For those brief moments, you are consumed with looking and seeking that lost child! Nothing else matters until he or she is found, and you are safely reunited! This is the force behind the command to “Seek God’s kingdom rule above all else!” The promise to worriers is that, as we put God first in priority, the Father and Giver of everything good is all too ready to meet the needs of His children! So, the lesson is…Seek Him!!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.


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