“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added” (Matthew 6:33—NIV).
“Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things you could never figure out on your own” (Jeremiah 33:3—Message).
“Seeking God” is a central act in the First Testament and Second. Seeking God is not the act of trying to find a hiding God. It is seeking to know what He thinks about something—His will, plan, guidance, wisdom, knowledge I should know—concerning a specific issue. When Paul tells the Thessalonians to “tell God every detail of your life,” I assume that means to consult God concerning everything.
How do you seek God?
I am captivated by Stephen Mansfield’s biography of “The beer that changed the world.” (The Search for God and Guinness, Thomas Nelson, 2009). I am impacted (searching for the exact word) by one line in the middle of the book.
“This would prove to be one of the most brilliant marketing decisions the company ever made.”
That “brilliant marketing decision” was to change the company logo. I hold in my hand a bottle of Guinness beer. It says it was brewed in Ireland, has Arthur Guinness’ signature and a harp. The decision to place the harp on each bottle changed the market region from within a day’s ride from Dublin to an international market.
There is no story of a prayer meeting as Arthur Guinness the Second “sought God” about expanding markets. Mansfield includes this line about Guinness Jr.
“Typically, he took counsel, planned and then executed.”
There is a myth about the founder of the company walking the streets of Dublin broken by the drunkenness that was destroying the nation, families, marriages, lives. Guinness pleaded with God to do something about that drunkenness. God’s fabled response was—“You do something about it,” and the brewer was given specific instructions.
The second most brilliant decision was the choice to advertise and then to add humor to the ads that were dispensed in serial form. The toucan ad was among the first and the poem was written by Dorothy Sayers—the great author.
I do not drink beer. My mother did not drink beer, but many of my closest friends did as did their parents. To excess. I saw the damage done and it made beer something for me to avoid. My interest in Guinness is driven by how that family viewed beer as an alternative to gin and whiskey and the available drinking water which could be lethal. Beyond that, I am gripped by the horrible living conditions and the poverty in which families lived during the early days of the industrial revolution. I was horrified when I read about the living conditions to the point I put the book down, walked around the house moaning.
Primarily, I am driven by what the Guinness Company did to change every aspect of society beginning with absolute care for their employees and worker’s families.
“…the second Arthur Guinness was a man of deep faith. His father’s unswerving piety took root in his soul, where it merged with an evangelical fire.” (page 87)
That Guinness sought the “kingdom of God and His righteousness” seems to be a given. I would like to know the mechanics. Seeking God’s counsel must have been interwoven with, but not limited to, his taking counsel from his family and the Guinness Company board of directors.
“There is always one moment…when the door opens and lets the future in.” Graham Greene.
Given who I am–how I’m wired, my experiences good and bad, my faith—how can I create value for others? Given my history, it probably will not include a microbrewery. I’ve settled on a process to seek God which I will suggest to you tomorrow.
©2016 D. Dean Benton—writer & wonderer