A cool spring day meets me in the morning. In Memphis, Tennessee I find myself sitting on an upright cinderblock inside a barren windowless building. The roof is rotted through and the warm morning light shines in.
I become increasingly uneasy. Something is moving in my spirit and I’m restless. I lose control and bury my head in my hands, sobbing uncontrollably. The most defining untangible feeling washes over me.
Looking around, I hope no one sees me as I am on my first spring break trip with a bunch of other college students. 19 years young, I feel God breaking me, or is it Him gently and gracefully allowing me to give up and seek Him? For He has been there all along. Kindly and patiently waiting for me, always pursuing me, never giving up on me.
I had spent all of my high school years passively walking the fence. Never venturing too far to the one side where the ‘heathens’ lived, but enough to taste of their fruit. On the contrary, I never ventured too far to full blown Christendom where D.C. Talk shirts were worn with pride and Brio Magazines were read cover-to-cover by friends.
A wandering nomad was more my title. I fit in more with the experimenting pot smokers than I did with the Bible carrying clicks that consumed the local youth group. To be honest, I never felt ‘in place’ with either.
The nomadic fence walker was I, the one who held loosely to truth but tight enough to not fall off the fence completely.
And in the abandoned building in Memphis, is where God became real to me. I felt Him wash over me. A soothing and loving way, He moved in my soul. And I could not contain my emotions.
It was there I felt loved by my Maker.
Even when I had held Him at arms length.
He still cared for me.
He cares for me when we I’m ‘running from Him’. He doesn’t turn His back on me in my rebellion.
He patiently waits.
In the waiting, He is actively pursuing my heart.
I wonder if the longer and further I run from Him the closer I draw near to Him.
In my running, I exhaust all my options of self-seeking gratification ’till I hit the bottom.
In the bottom is where I am left only with He and I.
When I was running away from God, I was running towards Him.
-Jesse Hoover, JesseHoover.com