[Paul, continuing his address to the council of the city of Athens: "God's] purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him — though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' And since this is true, we shouldn't think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
"God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him."
— Acts 17:27-30 NLT
'Not far"! Paul wanted the philosophers of Athens to realize that God is not only close, but accessible — God wants to have a relationship with us. We do not need images or omens or statues or symbols to represent him; we come from him, and he is near us. Rather than settling for just ideas about God or symbols of God, we need to turn our hearts toward God and realize he longs for us to know him intimately. Our God is a searching shepherd and a waiting Father who longs to claim us as his lost treasure and celebrates when are in his sheepfold.*
O Father, God who loves me, seeks me, and longs for me to come near to you, forgive me for putting all sorts of barriers and roadblocks up between you and me. Draw me ever closer to you. Help me know you more intimately and experience you more fully. I yearn for you to be more than an idea I ponder and more of a Father who is a constant presence in my life. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.