For a long time when I would hear about parish programs or read about them in the weekly bulletin, I would think “oh that’s nice” or “that sounds kind of interesting.” But I would also think all of these programs and invitations were for other people; not for me. In my mind, I didn’t participate in those sorts of things. They were for all those other people, what some might call the “churchy crowd.”

I was comfortable with this stance and staunchly held on to it. I really was quite satisfied with this self-prescribed status quo. Or so I thought.

Several years ago, there was going to be a new program called the Zacchaeus Journey. It was very well promoted at masses and in the bulletin. Each time I heard or read about it over the course of the summer, I was intrigued (…but adhered to my mantra “that’s for other people.I don’t do things like that.”). After saying “no” to myself at least half a dozen times, I got a written invitation in the mail. I decided if the pastor can take the time to send me an invitation, I can at least go to the information session … and then never return. So just to be polite, I went and as I was leaving I said to myself “okay well that’s over. I’m not going back.” But, somehow, someway I found myself going back the next week. Not only that, I continued to go week after week and did the entire course, which lasted about nine months.

In many ways, it was a pivotal moment in my spiritual journey. Looking back, I can see that each time I said, “that sounds interesting” followed by the requisite “but not for me,” God gave me a nudge. He kept nudging me until I finally gave in and went to the program. I have to admit, it turned out great. The course was enriching; I met new people; and, I started to experience God in new and different ways. I was lucky that God was so indefatigable and that He simply didn’t throw up His hands in utter exasperation and get tired of nudging me.

Elaine (NY)

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon…!

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