by Debbonnaire Kovacs

Growing in the Seeking
 
Today I will be driving from Kentucky to Andrews University for a worship conference I expect to enjoy very much. Only one thing makes me sad: I will miss tonight’s session of the small group studying Joan Chittister’s Monastery of the Heart. However, as I drive (through snow, forsooth!) I am comforted in the trust that my fellow “monastics” will be praying for me by name at least once today—and I for them.
 
I was struck by the relevance of this week’s reading to the issues with which we struggle, here at Adventist Today. Here’s a clip. (By the way, I do recommend the book very much! You can buy it in hard copy or ebook. I won’t put a link here in the devotional blog, but you can easily look it up.)
 

 

We do not all hear the same tones
at the same volume,

or see the same visions
in the same colors,
or seek the same goods of life
in the same way.
 
The search for God depends, then,
on choosing the spiritual path
most suited to our own spiritual
temper and character.
 
For some seekers,
It is in withdrawal from society
or by immersion in nature
that God is most present.
 
For others, the face of God
shows most clearly
in the face of the poor,
or is felt most keenly
through the support of those
with whom they share
a common spiritual regimen
 
For many, it is a bit of both,
a balance of community,
contemplation,
and commitment
to the people of God.
It is the search to belong
to a group of fellow travelers
who will hold us up
when we fall,
and urge us on to greater heights
when we are afraid to strain for more.
. . .
 
But whatever the nature
of a seeker’s lifestyle,
the search for God
depends, as well,
on the spiritual maturity it takes
to move from one level
of spiritual insight to another—
rather than cling to the spiritual satisfaction
that comes with earlier
less demanding, practices.
The search for God depends on the desire
to grow to full stature as a spiritual adult,
to come to know the God
who is as present in darkness
as in light.

 
If I read this section alone, I might fear that Chittister believes any and all paths lead automatically to God, except that she stipulates that these are intentional seekers for God, and that she has already written extensively, as I reported last week, that all seekers must soak and simmer and stew in the Word of God, day and night. So this may sometimes feel like a search without a guide or a marked trail, but it isn’t. God is the Guide and those who seek God do so only because God has already sought them and caught their attention.