We think that God is an object about which we have questions. We are curious about God. We make inquiries about God. We read books about God. We get into late-night bull sessions about God. We drop into church from time to time to see what is going on with God. We indulge in an occasional sunset of symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence for God.
But that is not the reality of our lives with God. Long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God had been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know.
This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops…We enter a world we didn’t create. We grow into a life already provided for us…If we are going to live appropriately, we must be aware that we are living in the middle of a story that was begun and will be concluded by another. And this other is God…
My identity does not begin when I begin to understand myself. There is something previous to what I think about myself and it is what God thinks of me. That means that everything I think and feel is by nature a response, and the one to whom I respond is God.
I never speak the first word. I never make the first move.
~ Eugene Peterson,Â Run with the Horses