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.
Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon…!