By MARY KAYE FALCONY
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
I know that the question posed in this column’s headline might seem odd, but bear with me. I hope that, by the end of the column, the headline not only makes sense – but you may find the need to explore how this may be happening in your life.
For several months, I have been engaged with the book “The Inner Chapel,” by Becky Eldredge. I say engaged purposefully because this has not been one of those books you read and move on with your life; but, instead, it takes hold of you and begins a conversation with you.
I have found myself lingering with each chapter and reading each numerous times so it seeps into my being and settles in my bones. It has become a part of me, like a friend who visits unexpectedly but is welcomed nonetheless. Every time this book makes its appearance I know it must be tended to. I have come to understand that this interruption is God speaking to my heart – asking me to pay attention to this restlessness. He is raising something up in me – something specifically meant for my benefit.
I have found it interesting to see how God comes after me. At times, his pursuit is very subtle (like with this book); and other times, it seems to be in your face, bold and relentless. Either way, it is hard for me to ignore. There is little doubt in my mind that it is him, and he is moving me. Sometimes, it is a nudge, sometimes a push; but he is meaning to awake something in me. Eldredge says she is able to identify this pursuit by God when, in spiritual direction, individuals speak of something missing from their lives or there is a longing in their lives for more; a restlessness.
I think, no matter who you are or what your circumstance, that throughout each of our lives God is present – always saying to us, “I am here, look what I have for you, I am not going anywhere!” There are many of our spiritual ancestors who are prime examples of this pursuit by God. The most vivid accounts that come to my mind are the lives of Moses and King David. If I am considering more contemporary examples, I only need to look to Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day.
As with our ancestors of faith, it always comes down to whether we choose to respond. Are we open to how God is working in our life in this given moment and what he is stirring within us? Being honest, I think we all have to admit that, at some point, we have ignored this beckoning from God – myself included.
This happens for a myriad of reasons – we have become complacent; we feel unprepared or unworthy; it’s work; there is a fear of change or of the unknown. Can we agree that when we ignore God’s pursuit that it is often followed by the acknowledgment at some point that it was a missed opportunity? Along with this acknowledgment is the realization and comfort that he is always coming for us!
We don’t run out of chances. Opportunities will be presented until our last breath; love continually will be poured out; and the longing he has for us will never cease!
Is God coming after you? Absolutely!