The images of homecoming, invitation, and waking from sleep are central to spiritual awakening.   Each image probably has powerful connections to your own life. So, sit with them for a while. Don’t hurry.

Here's a little exercise:

You might explore some of your earliest experiences, those you could label as experiences with God.

I remember vividly a “wake-up invitation” that came to me when I was a teenager, probably thirteen or fourteen. I thought I had things figured out and God was one thing I figured was certainly out—I was an atheist. But on a family fly-fishing trip in the San Juan Mountains of western Colorado, I was tromping through the high country chasing rainbow trout with Stan, an old family friend, and an expert fly-fisherman. I respected him greatly and knew he was not a religious man.

It had just rained and, though soaked to the bone, I can still recall the fresh scent of the slippery willows and pine trees we were crashing through. The sky had opened up and boasted a dazzling rainbow set against a bright blue sky.

Stan stopped and said half to himself and half to me: “Sometimes I’ve a sense that I’m involved in something much greater than I am.” And then he headed back down along the trail.

That moment holds a special place in my life; it’s the first invitation to come home to God that I can remember.

What moment or moments can you point to when light broke into your life, even if it was for no longer than a flash of insight?  Where were you?  What was happening?  What did that moment plant in your soul?  Did something shut it down or did something open it up further?