“With my whole heart I seek you.” – Psalm 119:10
I have an old friend whose search for God has taken her through four different organized religions and several disorganized ones, not to mention a glut of therapeutic and New Age practices, each one the one that was finally going to deliver God to her and make sense of everything.
The last time I saw her, she gushed about the latest thing. A wave of exhaustion hit me. She said she’d really found it this time, but she seemed more like a child in the woods who’s disobeyed the cardinal rule of being lost—Don’t try to find us. Stay put. Someone will find you.
I wish she’d stay put. I wish she’d stop listening to sales pitches for the latest and greatest technique of well-being, resist the latest invitation to go here or there to sit with yet another teacher. I wish she’d sit with herself for a while and be found by the One who’s already located her, who’s been available to her in the depths of her soul from before the day she was born.
We admire seekers. We like the lone protagonist who struggles to attain God. But God isn’t a reward, a prize at the finish line of striving. God isn’t waiting to be found in a hiding place we haven’t stumbled on yet. Maybe it would help in our heart’s seeking to know that in the end, we’re not the seekers. We’re the sought after. And if we let ourselves be found, we’ll find God. We’ll also find ourselves.
Seeking God, let me stay put long enough to know that you have found me.
Mary Luti is a long time seminary educator and pastor, author of Teresa of Avila’s Way and numerous articles, and founding member of The Daughters of Abraham, a national network of interfaith women’s book groups.