I didn’t want to take your hand.
I didn’t want to follow you.
Again and again, I called You back into the comfort I believed in.
But there was no stopping You.
In the end, I realized
I couldn’t truly live
In the end, I ran after You –
past everything I’d known,
through my fears –
beyond what I thought I was capable of…
Thank You for leading me deep
into the extraordinary mystery
of Your love
and the richness of life with an open heart.
Growing up, one of my favorite church songs was Here I am Lord. The lyrics (by James Kilbane) say:
Here I am Lord,
Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord,
if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.
I think that song may be the reason I’ve always wanted to follow my own calling. For a long time though, I didn’t recognize that I actually was following my calling to hold God’s people in my heart because it was not what I expected, based on the beauty of that song and my illusions about what it means to follow a loving, powerful Creator.
Now, I realize that every time I opened my heart in compassion for the suffering of another, took a mini step out on faith even though I was scared, provided encouragement to someone who was suffering, practice forgiveness and lifted another up in prayer with a sincere heart willing their good regardless of what I personally was going through – I was following my calling from God.
Along the way, I’ve learned that the spiritual journey is more beautiful and more difficult than I ever imagined.
Following a true calling from God is the greatest thing in the world because it draws us closer to the Spirit of peace, love and freedom that we all long for in the depths of our beings and the hardest thing in the world because it requires us to step out of our comfort zones, face our biggest fears, experience heartache for the pain of others, let go of our egoic attachments and take total responsibility for our own shortcomings.
Often, we hear the still small voice of God calling out to us from deep inside, but we don’t recognize it because it’s not guiding us the direction we expect or we resist it because it’s asking us to do really hard things we don’t want to do. In our humanity, we wish we could find an easy way to experience God’s love, peace, joy and blessings.
But that’s not how it works! Fortunately, the spiritual journey is the path to true fulfillment. The joy we find by letting go of our plan to embrace God’s greater one is completely worth every struggle along the way. When we choose to follow the Lord, He’s with us every step of the way, guiding us on wonderful pathways we could never navigate on our own.
Where are you on your spiritual journey? Is God calling you out of your comfort zone right now? What resistance are you facing inside of yourself? Are you struggling with patience, forgiveness, confusion or courage? Comment below, and I’ll be delighted to provide some encouragement and keep you in my prayers.
God, give us the courage to see You in the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed and the suffering of humanity. Give us the grace to open our hearts, answer our callings and follow You, even when it causes us to stretch far beyond our comfort zones. Fill us with Your love, joy and peace that surpasses understanding as we follow in Your footsteps on this earth. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Poem Copywright 7/30/2018 by Nicky Gant