MY WIFE and I belong to a meditation group called Heartspace. Our spiritual director is a Benedictine monk. We meet once a month. We meditate (of course), we listen and sometimes we share. In our last meeting our spiritual director told us something which left a profound impression on me. He said, “If you find yourself, God has found you.” Wow, I thought. Wow because I had no idea what he meant by that. And I had to think about it for some time. Meditating helps if you are trying to make sense of things. I have to admit I still do not know what that means exactly but let me take a shot at it.
The short version is this. When you find yourself you come to realize one thing. And I must say this with all humility, despair and joy. When you come face to face with your true self, you realize you are weak and hopeless. Oh yes we think we are all mighty and noble and in control. In control? Really? Try getting a medical test and while awaiting the results see how in control you really are. You are not in control. We never have been, we just like to think we are.
And that is true with so many things in our lives. We think we are strong but we are so weak. We think we can beat our habits when in truth we are slaves to them. We think we are capable of rising up our adversities yet we gobble up anxiety pills and desperately seek answers within ourselves only to find out the nothingness that stares back at us. We make plans only to see them disappear. We are hopeless and weak. Do not get me wrong, we try and try and we almost always fail because we are not that strong and we come to realize, wow, this is me really. Truly. So what do I do now? Shall I wallow in self-pity? Seek light in the darkness? There is a hollowness that cannot be replaced. An emptiness that no amount of money can satisfy. We are all lost somehow.
And that is where God finds us. C.S. Lewis once remarked that you can view God’s will in two ways. One is to accept it or have it your way. We are hopeless without God. We shall travel these roads in search of something but we shall never find them unless you have God as your guide in less dramatic terms, your true self will only be true if it encounters God.
We are all useless and hopeless without Him. Like the prodigal son we need to eat mud before we realize the truth. The prodigal son saw himself for what he was and he had to meet the father who showed him his true nobility. Like you, like me.