I have been wrestling and writing and wanting and panting and yearning to follow God since the first day I can ever remember. Following a call inside my heart I could not see, a God I could not touch, but imagined what He looked like in the clouds. I would write to Him, and I knew he read my letters. When my great Aunt died, I addressed the envelope to 110 Heaven, God Street , Sky, Heaven– God had an address and everything in my mind.
I also had a wandering spirit. I was a transient. Never felt comfortable in one place, always wanted to leave. My pre Christ version of wanting to leave was indeed not healthy and not spiritually developed- trying to run away from my problems, a new town or place to make them all better. I moved a lot once I was on my own- city to city, school to school and place to place. But my problems came with me, I came with me. I doubted my wandering spirit. And when Christ felt it was the appropriate time, I gave my life up for Him, and followed him on the journey to recovery from sexual abuse.
But my wandering spirit followed me. Christians who meant well told me I still needed healing. Church goers told me I was trying to run away from my problems. But I didn’t have those problems anymore. After a year in recovery, I was healed from my depression and released from my captivity. It was preached to me that I still was a prisoner, that I was not free. But I was free, and so was my restless, wandering spirit.
And every time I followed Christ there were doubters. “You’re running away again, you’re afraid to stay,” …No, no I’m not afraid to stay, I’m afraid what will happen to me if I don’t leave.
It’s been a burden really. A passing thought, what if I’m wrong? This is problematic. Even though the Christ within me said, no, no, Jesus never stayed in the same place, Jesus was always moving, he had work to do, and he certainly couldn’t do it staying in one place. Remember, he had no place to rest his head, and that… that resonated with me in the depths of my soul.
I doubted what that restless spirit was…. that was until this morning. Like puzzle pieces, this week has brought God’s mysteries alive. What started so long ago came to fruition for me in a post Paul wrote, Growing with God- who leads who? A mission, a missionary, a mass, a missal, Ite, missa est, Go it has been sent.
The priest yesterday talked about calling in terms of a mission. He never used the world calling. He talked about how we know we are “called” to a mission from God. It’s not something we want to do, it’s an outward call outside of ourselves, it involves moving, it involved doubt, but it also involves God’s affirmation. Read over those words again, but don’t read them as they appear, dig deeper.
And I rejoiced with the priest and my movement and my seat at a new church, and the possibility of moving yet again- even if only a town away. And I realized that life’s meaning isn’t a specific call, that our purpose is not be safe or comfortable, that ultimately it is to show people life, to show people Christ. I had a mission, not a calling. That urge, that movement, that moving away that transient nature that thing I could not explain, it was God, it has always been God.
So one life affects another. Paul’s mission to deliver God’s words to me today that now have effected me for the rest of my life, that have given light in the darkness, that have answered my almost 40 years of wandering and wondering….. 40.
Ite, missa est…Go it has been sent