Most of us think of “abandon” as walking away from something, giving up, giving it to someone else to finish; relinquishing all interest. It that manner, then, abandon is a bit of negative term. For most, Abandon has probably been designated as a permanent negative term, never to raise its ugly head in a positive way. Have you ever heard it used like this? He ran the race with abandon. Or maybe like this: She kissed him with abandon. Then there’s my favorites: He ran the election with reckless abandon. He was pursued with “utter abandon.”
So this type of usage seems to imply that the person is “going all out” to accomplish their objective; leaving nothing behind; no holds barred; going after objective, and intending to be successful, at all cost…no matter the consequences. It occurs to me that that would be the way, or manner in which, an individual seeking to be the next CEO of a major corporation, or win a specific election, or possibly, even, winning “the hand of your true love.” Using it this way…adds a POSITIVE connotation it…. Which, for most of us, seems to be a “non-use.”
But, now considering this new reflection…it ALSO reminds me of how God seeks us. He goes after us with “reckless abandon.” God is a jealous lover. In Luke 15:3-7, we’re told: “So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
God pursues us with “reckless abandon,” even when we sin, when we’re lost, when we’re disobedient, when all we want to do is hide away. God pursues us “with utter abandon.” He wants to show gracious compassion to us even when we are the least deserving of it. But, wouldn’t it be better, and more appropriate if each of us….pursued God…”utter abandon?” Either way….we WIN.
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