“There’s a story about a proud young man who came to Socrates asking for knowledge. He walked up to the philosopher and said, ‘O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge.’ Recognizing the flaws in the young man, Socrates led him through the streets, to the sea, and chest-deep into water. Then he asked, ‘What do you want?’
‘Knowledge, O wise Socrates,’ said the young man with a cocky smile. Socrates put his strong hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed him under. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. ‘What do you want?’ he asked again. ‘Wisdom, O great and wise Socrates,’ the young man sputtered. Socrates crunched him under again. Forty seconds passed. Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. “What do you want, young man?”
Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, ‘Knowledge, O wise and wonderful…’ Socrates jammed him under again and forty seconds passed, then fifty. ‘What do you want?’
‘Air!’ the young man screeched. ‘I need air!’ ‘When you want knowledge as you have just wanted air, then you will have knowledge’” (M. Littleton, Moody Monthly, June 1989, p. 29).
People often say they want to be close to God. The problem doesn’t lie with God, but with us. If we actually wanted to be close to God, we can. Too often we approach our relationship with God carelessly and half-heartedly. Like our unending necessity for air, our relationship with God should be approached as an insatiable need.
What does this look like exactly? Consider what David said in Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
If we truly want to have a relationship with God, then let’s gasp for God as we do for air, let’s hunger and thirst for Him like we do for food and water. Let’s long for Him with every fiber of our being!