I discovered something about myself today that surprised me.
A friend asked me whether I believed that God ever stops knocking at people’s hearts. Even though this is not a subject that I’ve spent much time considering, my rather confident response was that I believe God only stops knocking when there is no one left who has not responded to that knock.
This is a very different answer than I would once have given, but the change in my answer was not what surprised me. What surprised me was where my assurance came in giving that believe.
You see, I once would have been able to quote scripture verses to back up my responses. I could have drawn from things that I had been taught by various preachers, writers, and other teachers to lay out a coherent intellectual argument. I would have felt assured of my rightness because I knew all the right arguments. I would have given those arguments that weight of fact.
But in my wilderness years, I may have walked away from Christianity (at least in any kind of formal expression), yet I learned in that time how to live in faith. I’ve learned that God is bigger than anything I can comprehend or explain. I’ve learned that God does not fit in the boxes that I construct.
In my time of exploring yoga, Buddhism, and shamanism as spiritual pathways, I’ve learned to pay attention to what I feel in my body, to what my intuition tells me, to what I observe (in an unpartial and curious way) about my thoughts. And I’ve learned to value that information as much or more than the thoughts my mind produces. I’ve also learned to place more value on the knowing that comes from within rather than on the information I’ve received from others.
So when my friend asked me this question, what surprised me was the source of my knowing. My assurance did not come from any logical analysis based on scripture and church teachings, it came from a sense of rightness deep in my belly. And this assurance was deeper and truer than any logical analysis has ever been for me.
I believe the way I do because this is the God that I’ve come to know in relationship. I believe this because this God has continued to knock at my heart and continued to tug me back into relationship even as I have tried to run with all of my might in the opposite direction. If God would continue knocking at my heart without ever giving up, I find it inconceivable that God would not do the same with each and every one of us.
My friend, who is a theologian, wants to explore my reasoning on this matter further, so I will be spending some time trying to bring my intuitive knowing into a more conscious space where I may be able to offer some kind of explanation that would be theologically relevant. But that logical explanation is not necessary for my own sense of knowing, and that is a most unexpected and most welcome surprise.
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