Yes, I want to be His servant. I want to join the community of those who serve Him. All I can say is “Yes, yes, yes – please teach me, tell me all you know of who He was and who He is – that I too might follow…” (from the end of my last post)
With all of these “yeses” pouring out of me, I had thought. for a moment, that I was making a choice.
Wasn’t I choosing God? Proclaiming my desire to follow Him and be part of the community that serves?
I can be so silly at times.
“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you…” (John 15:16)
These words of Jesus to His disciples in the Last Supper discourse began to echo in my memory not long after the post, having been awakened by the wise words of a friend.
I have to stop and wonder: why is it that I so often think that I am the one making the choice?
It is as though my soul is envisioning God hidden in the clouds at the top of a mountain I have just climbed. Though not consciously, on some level, I am imagining that I have done the work, that I have done the searching and the choosing and the giving of myself.
Have I searched for God – or has God searched for me? Have I poured out myself and completely given myself to God – or has He poured out Himself for me, giving without reserve? Have I chosen Him – or has He chosen me?
In reality, He is the one seeking and giving and choosing. In truth, I have barely said “yes”.
It is hard to say He has chosen me. On one level, it sounds so vain, as though I think that I am someone of great importance that God would choose me.
But I know that is just a smoke screen for the real issue. The real issue is that I don’t know why He would choose someone like me.
Having peaked beneath the layers of pride and willfulness and vanity, I now know that under it all lies a child, quivering in shame for all that she is not. One who knows that she truly has sinned, who knows that she is unworthy.
When I imagine that I am making the choice, I remain proud and in control. But when He chooses me, I must meet His gaze and can no longer hide from the reality of my disobedience and brokenness.
“I am afraid. I don’t want to meet that gaze – it is too much,” the shamed child within cries out, the previous “yeses” dissolving in the shadows of fear.
But He who has searched so long and so far, who has given everything to have me, will not let the enemy trap me in his net of fear. He stands by His choice.
He has chosen me. (And He has chosen you as well.)
Once again, I say it: yes…
Look, Mary, at a line that appears in the Orthodox readings calendar for today:
“I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” (Isaiah)
Happy coincidence, I would say–although the priest at our church doesn’t believe in coincidences. So I’ll settle for, “All things work together for good . . .” (Not just to them who love God, but also to those who are still open to God’s love).
I feel fairly sure that if we, in our mortal state, could see how God makes all things work together for the good, it would blow all of the circuitry in our tiny brains. But the glimpses we get of His work are grand indeed! Thanks, Al, for sharing this glimpse.