Sunday, July 22, 2012

the air I breathe

Today marks the end of ND Vision 2012.

We had a day full of beautiful reflection, meditation, and a chance to try to begin to process the summer, and see where God's call was present during the whole experience.

My day began when I went for a run in the early morning to bid goodbye to campus for the summer. Tragedy struck when I stopped to stretch by the lakes, and I set my phone and room key down in the grass.

Cue to fifteen minutes later, when I picked up my phone and walked a couple yards away.
Wait. Where's my key?
I walked back to find my key. The thing about grass is that it all kind of looks the same, so it's hard to remember your exact location. Really hard. In fact, it may take twenty minutes and the helpless but good-hearted assistance of a stranger in order to find it again.

As I searched for my key, I did two things:
One: pray to St. Anthony. That dude and I have gotten real tight over the years.
Two: Call my mom, and, in desperate tones, beg her to pray to St. Anthony.
Three: Get down on hands and knees and comb the ground for that key.

As I was crawling all over the grassy mound, searching for the key, the St. Anthony prayer under my breath turned into a different prayer. It took me a moment to register what I was saying, but my involuntary prayer that rose like a reflex out of my heart was:

Oh Lord our God, unweary is your love for us.

Bizarre, I thought. And returned with renewed vigor to the St. Anthony prayer. After a few moments, I laughed. God was teaching me a lesson. A lesson about self-giving love. A lesson about His love. Just as I kept relentlessly searching for that key, God keeps relentlessly seeking us. This is an imperfect analogy, because:

A) I was wearying. There was a Panera breakfast waiting for me; and I was stuck out by St. Mary's lake, digging through the grass like a crazy person. Was I happy about this? No. Did I almost call it a day multiple times? Yes.
B) I needed that key. God doesn't really need our love, He just desires it madly. I needed that key to get back into my room and also to avoid the: "Congratulations, you've lost your key now you owe us money" fine.
C) I'm not God.

But when you're searching desperately for something, you come to understand what sort of immense value it has for you. And I realized that if that small little feeling of desperate searching was a slight insight into the way God seeks us, then it was worth loosing that key.

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