We often talk about our search for God, and for good reason. Every human heart seeks after God. Our hearts, whether our minds acknowledge the fact or not, yearn to experience God in the midst of daily life—whether changing diapers, arguing a case before a jury, painting a wall, teaching third graders, or walking in the woods. We were made to burn with a holy and playful fire. Each of us possesses the capacity to live intentional, happy, and compassionate lives in our turbulent world. But all of us live with some measure of hurry and worry, fragmentation and frustration that distracts us and gnaws at us. Many of us want to pray but don’t know how. Others may know something of prayer, but find our practice unfulfilling. If we’re honest, a good deal of our praying doesn’t taste much better than a mouthful of dirt.
So we search restlessly and longingly and find little of what we’re searching for.
But what if God is searching for us? What if God is more desperate to find us than we are to find God?
Jesus says that God is like a shepherd who leaves the rest of his flock to search diligently for a single lost sheep. God is like a woman who’s lost a precious coin and then upends the furniture in her house in order to track it down again. God is like a father who waits, waits, waits for his prodigal child’s return, and celebrates with extravagant joy when we wake up and come home.