"I ask your prayers for all who seek God or a deeper knowledge of him. Pray that they may find and be found by him." Prayers of the People, Form II, BCP pg. 386.
You could say, this is where it all began. It started when I was in church every Sunday as a child, barely paying attention, but remaining on task because I was an acolyte and had to follow the service. Christ Church Exeter generally used Form II for the Prayers of the People, and so I became accustomed to its wording and moments of silence for personal reflection. And it was there that I heard the above prayer... many, many times.
So, when I went to see Mtr. Lee Shafer to talk about the "how I came to be showing up again at St. John's AFTER my dad's funeral"... we got to a point in the conversation where she said, "What is it that you need?"
"I don't NEED anything!", I thought. And then it hit me.
"Y'know, there's a prayer in the Prayers of the People..." and I went on to recite the above. And I came to understand, in that moment, that if I had a need, it was to enter the process of seeking God in the hopes that I would find God. Somewhere. Anywhere.
As it turns out... everywhere.
Just as it says in Luke's gospel reading for today:
‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ --Luke 11: 9-13
I don't have any other way of putting this than to say, "It's true!" And this is the kind of thing that can really blow your socks off if you allow it to sink in. God meets you wherever and however you are. You don't have to be inside a pretty sanctuary with gorgeous stained-glass windows to seek and find God. It can and does happen there. But you can always knock on God's door while you're standing in a field, or a parking lot, or at the bedside of a dying loved one. And the real kicker is... the only credentials God is looking at is what is in your heart in the asking. Not how much money do you have? Who'd you sleep with last night? Do you have clear skin? What is your heart's need.
Since I asked to seek God and find a deeper knowledge of him, I have been granted that request... and then some... for about 18 months! And the really trippy part is, the more I find, the more I find there is to find. The more knowledge I seem to gain, the more I see that I have only scratched the tip of the tip of the iceberg. And that piques my curiousity, and makes me want to knock again.
If you haven't started seeking for yourself, I encourage you to do so. The places this journey has taken me have been amazing... a little unsettling at times... but never too much. And I'm never alone.