Since we lived in Indiana more than 30 years, people assume I am excited to hear that Indiana University is doing so well in the tournament. But, I grew up in North Carolina. And I grew up with a mom who was a North Carolina State fan – at least that’s what I grew up believing. And I have memories of staying up with her watching some very exciting games! That said – I am thrilled to hear that NC State is doing just as well as IU and UK (at least at the time of my writing).
I will always love North Carolina because that is where I am from (even though I spent more of my life in Indiana). And God is my creator – I am from Him and made for Him – so unless I am “in Him/with Him” life is just not satisfying. I can try to love IU and even be happy for their victories, but my heart always goes back to NC State. And I guess my love for NC State is more of a love of those memories of watching intense games and being so linked together in the joy of the victory with my mom. That time we had together way back in the 70’s was priceless.
Back to the idea of “being occupied with God” . . . How do we do that – practically speaking? We can try to make it happen just by “willing” it to be. But just like with basketball, I don’t think any of us gets excited, really excited over at team – to the point of spending years pulling for them whether they win or lose – unless we have some sort of a bond with them. And that bond does not just appear; it has developed.
It’s the same with our relationship with God. To be occupied with God requires just that! We need to be pursuing a relationship with Him. That involves spending time with Him – talking to Him and listening to Him. We need to tell Him that we love Him. We need to be looking for reasons to praise Him. Pray that He will wake you up each morning and when He does – start right away to talk to Him. Let Him be your first thought each morning. Fall asleep at night talking to Him. “Be occupied with Him.”
Love Him who first loved us. Love Him who came to us in our sin and loved us. Love Him who gave His all for us. Love Him who reached out and lifted us from the pit and set us in a spacious place because He delighted in us (Ps 18:19).