Young Laura Barton was given a hamster as a present. Travelling home in the car, the rodent chewed a hole in his cardboard box, dived into the foot well and disappeared behind the dashboard. Laura’s mother tried to coax the hamster from his hiding place but he preferred to remain out of reach and nibble the carpet and wiring. ‘He kept popping his head out to see what all the fuss was about but as soon as we tried to grab him he ducked down again,’ she said.
Searching for something which eludes us is a common facet of our daily lives. Sometimes it’s something important like a major decision where the right solution just doesn’t seem to be at hand. Sometimes it’s something more minor like finding the right present for someone or the answer to a crossword clue. In such situations, it’s not unusual to feel that the answer is cheekily popping its head out but we just can’t grasp it.
There is something elusive too about our relationship with God. Our attempts to understand God’s ways and to live consciously in God’s presence are often fraught with an awareness that there is more to be experienced if only we could just lay our hands on it. However deep our faith already is, the tantalising sense that there is yet more just around the corner frustrates but also motivates us.
Eventually the AA came, unscrewed the dashboard and captured the hamster, now named Bob after his rescuer. Not everything elusive is recovered so easily. When, as in these coming days, we give particular attention to our own lives and to God, we may feel frustrated by not quite being able to lay our hands on an idea, thought or decision. If so, let’s be aware that God uses many different ways of pointing us the right way. What’s asked of us is that we persevere in reaching out for what we can’t quite yet apprehend.
Read: As a deer longs for flowing steams, so my soul longs for you, O God….When shall I behold your face? (Psalm 42.1,2)
Rejoice: that our delight in exploring God’s generosity and personality need never be exhausted.
Reflect: Are there any inner promptings in me which I’m ignoring because I can’t see where they’re leading?
Remember: that if we miss something God wants to put our way, he’ll try again.
Resolve: always to be looking for new insights into God and myself.