Looking in retrospect at our own spiritual journey can any of us see the manner God uses to connect our movements, convict us of following the wrong path, and from time to time allows each one to slip from grace in order to see ourselves looking for him when we realize we must change?
That change reminds us of the need to not forget any misguided direction we’ve made and thank him for the slip of neglecting his love realizing it is him that we need. As Augustine so eloquently said; “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
How often must we consider the many avenues of searching for an endless success from human efforts to discover even those are just that; efforts without lasting treasures that quickly diminish through rust of become fodder for thieves.
Then where does our search begin or become our very quest to find the presence of God when all our goals are solely “made up of a material, changing world and a spiritual, unchanging world.” “Hence, to be human, for St. Augustine, is to be caught up in the drama of a soul, fallen yet called to beatitude, true and abiding happiness. All the longings, missed opportunities, and looking for love in all the wrong places characterizes our existence” From the Forward of Confessions.
It would be erroneous to think God is only a welcoming entity for those who have no stain of rejecting him or those whom appear to sound like a symphony being guided by a maestro’s movements. A misguided sense of presumption that may very well allow us to sink in disbelief of who God really is.
Have you ever made a decision to make a move in life but after realizing it would become a deterrent with your spiritual life you suddenly changed your mind and created dissension within your family? My family and I were making a move to a new home, and made a commitment to purchase it. However, at that time I was a daily communicate and realized I would have to give up morning Mass due to Mass times and decided this would not work. Pulling out from this commitment created untold anger with the real estate, the family selling, and my wife as well. A second event occurred when the owner of a company I worked for decided to change our starting hour to an earlier time. Again, as a daily communicate the new starting time would interfere with that and to me this change would affect my spiritual life. During the period before Christmas I met an older employer at a shopping plaza and he offered me a position better than the one I was in and the time and location became an asset allowing me to attend early Mass. Both of these events were around eight years before the Permanent Diaconate opened in The Diocese of Pittsburgh. Either of these instances would have interfered with my becoming a candidate and ultimate ordination to the diaconate. I am certain many people encounter similar occurrences and question the experiences until some time later thank God for the interference within their lives.
When the Lord has a specific purpose for any of his children, he will make his plan known in a subtle manner without our even understanding the ultimate results. Where we are or what our goals, God will step in and make changes that will serve us as well.
Where can we got and not find God? Nowhere!
Ralph B. Hathaway, Where can we go and not find God? 2021