This past weekend I finished the book A Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson. I first saw this book several months ago in our local Christian bookstore when the title caught my eye. I think perhaps it sums up a little of what I've been feeling lately even though I probably couldn't explain why in an eloquent and understandable way. I feel as if I'm pretty much bouncing all over the place these days. Anyway, at the time, I opted not to purchase this book because I was completely aware of the pile of books at home that still needed to be read.
Last Friday, my husband and I headed out to spend the day together. Fridays are his day off, and we typically spend the day resting. There is usually a lunch at Panera involved though. We got in the car, and I began telling him about the "Spring Reading Thing" (see sidebar) I am participating in. I was going over the books I have on my list and realized that there was one more I
wanted needed to add to my list. It was The Wild Goose Chase. We made our way to the bookstore, found the book, purchased it, along with Brennan Manning's new book, and we were on our way. Give me the choice of spending money on clothes or books and I will choose the latter every time. Having a new book in my hand makes me one happy girl.
While we sat at Panera, we talked, ate, talked, sipped coffee, and then talked some more. It's funny how some of our best, most vulnerable, come to Jesus talks have taken place sitting at a little round table surrounded by so many other people. That afternoon we talked, and I cried about things that really matter.
There is a song by Sanctus Real called "Whatever You're Doing"(Something Heavenly). The words of the chorus are:
Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving into something Heavenly
I've been trying to make sense of a lot of things here lately. I've been driving myself crazy and putting much undue stress upon myself trying to figure out God's will. I'm tired and worn out spiritually, yet I am at peace. Even when I haven't had the desire to pursue Him the way I should, He hasn't stopped pursuing me. I know that He is working in my life and revealing things to me - one glimpse at a time. As much as these last few months have been a place of uncertainty, confusion, and at times feeling like God just isn't there, it has been a good place. I have to remember that this is all part of the journey. In the midst of the silence that I often feel, I know with every ounce of my being that He is still there. It's during these times that I go back and remember all that He has done thus far. Remembering increases my faith and gives me the strength to know that I keep on walking. I am asking questions along the way - hard ones at that. I am discovering who I am, who He has made me to be, because I am discovering more of who He is.
Later that day I began reading A Wild Goose Chase and finished it that evening. Perhaps it's just where I am right now, but this book clarified so many things for me. I know that it wasn't coincidence because so much of what my husband and I discussed earlier in the day were said again within the pages of this book.
The author begins the book by explaining that, "The Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit that has always intrigued me. They called Him An Geadh-Glas or the Wild Goose." He goes onto to say, "I understand that "wild goose chase" typically refers to a purposeless endeavor without a defined destination. But chasing the Wild Goose is different. The promptings of the Holy Spirit can sometimes seem very pointless, but rest assured, God is working His plan. And if you chase the Wild goose, He will take you places you never could have imagined going by paths you never knew existed." At first I wasn't so sure about this concept and wasn't sure if I could honestly get through a book in which God was being called a goose. The author uses this imagery throughout the book and I know that it sounds weird and different so I want to make it perfectly clear that I know to ALWAYS back anything and everything I read to the Bible. If you read this book, I encourage you to do the same. As I read though, I began to understand, relate and just have some much needed clarity. I am finding though as some answers come, I have a whole new set of questions. Thank you Lord for your patience, for not giving up on me, and that you want more than anything to reveal Your will to me even more than I want to know what it is. You are the Author and Perfector of my faith.
Much of this book talks about being able to know what those God-given passions we each have, and how we are allowing Him to use those. Even though I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for 18 years now, I have not known this. Yes, I know how He has gifted me in certain areas so that He can use me, but what are those passions that He has given me. There is a lot I haven't known, assumptions I've made, and ways that I have put God in a box. I'm seeing how big and limitless He truly is. And the passion He had, to die for me, a sinner, is something that for so much of the time I can't understand nor comprehend. I do know exactly where I would be if I didn't have Him. We all have things we are passionate about, but I'm not talking about those humanly kind. I'm talking about those passions that only God can place in the deep places of our hearts. Those things that make us cry or pound our fists to the table. They can also be ones that bring a happiness like none other.
God has really been stirring some things up inside of me, and what I am finding is that He is revealing to me what my passions are. I have been completely surprised by Him but somehow it is all beginning to make some sense. It's coming to the place once again of being able to say that whatever it is, I will follow wholeheartedly.
Tomorrow morning, I am going to a homeless shelter to serve breakfast. Next week my husband and I are taking our two boys to serve dinner at another homeless shelter. I have never done anything like this before. Not because I don't care, but because I suppose I wasn't ready, and I hadn't been praying for the Lord to show me where my passions are. What tomorrow holds, I have no idea. I am simply walking in obedience with a very humbled heart.