The Happiness of Pursuit

2019-06-13T14:07:42-07:00 April 13th, 2018|Tags: , , , |

Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.

“It is not in the pursuit of happiness that we find fulfillment, it is in the happiness of pursuit.” – Denis Waitley

A while back, I learned a new term from one of my sons-in-law. As a management consultant with a major international consultancy, he engages in “pursuits” from time to time. A “pursuit” is his firm’s jargon for the process of new business acquisition from existing and prospective clients.

Upon reflection, it seems to me that the mission (and indeed the lifeblood) of both corporations and individuals can be framed in terms of “pursuits.” Different businesses and not-for-profits often develop their own unique jargon for the process of new business development. Suffice to say that an organization that doesn’t pursue growth stagnates and inevitably slips into reverse! As individuals, our personal pursuits often centre around specific goals including pursuing one’s passion(s), successful child rearing, comfort, security, happiness and adventure.

In isolation, there’s nothing wrong with any of these corporate or individual pursuits. That said, issues of efficiency/effectiveness, work/life balance and meaningfulness inevitably come into play. Corporations must steward their resources carefully to achieve healthy growth. And I assume that the last thing any of us wants to do is turn our personal lives into “Trivial Pursuit” like the hugely successful board game (developed, incidentally, by some enterprising Canadians).

The last thing we want is to turn our lives into “Trivial Pursuit”.

For marketplace leaders who choose to follow Jesus, the concept of pursuit takes on an altogether different importance and meaning. According to the Bible, God, the Creator of everything, places such value on each one of us that He pursues us. This idea of God’s pursuing us is ably captured in “The Hound of Heaven,” the famous poem by Francis Thompson. God’s relentless pursuit of us is best demonstrated by Jesus’ entering the space-time continuum He created for the sole purpose of reconciling us to God.

The flip side of this coin is our pursuit of God. Laura Bagby, an Internet Producer for CBN unpacks this concept in her piece “In Pursuit of God”. The following quotation captures the essence of Laura’s article.

“I was ruminating over Luke 11:9 [in the Bible], where Jesus tells us to keep on asking and keep on seeking and keep on knocking…At first I got stuck on the words “ask,” “seek”, “knock,” trying very hard to distinguish between the terms, but I soon got bogged down in this lexical undertaking. Then, instead of focusing on the differences between these words, I asked myself, What do these three words have in common? The answer was simple: pursuit. God wants us to pursue Him actively and relentlessly, just as He actively and relentlessly pursues us.

My personal life purpose statement is “to know Jesus better and to better make Him known.” As someone who has led business units most of my life, I relate to the distracting intensity of the marketplace in general and the pursuit of new business in particular. That said, I have come to appreciate that pursuing God keeps my life in focus and my priorities in order.

Jesus summarizes His perspective on “pursuit” as follows: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33 NLT-SE)

How about you? What are you pursuing?

Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.