A place to call home
“I suspect that for many young adults, ‘I’ll know it when I see it,’ applies just as aptly to finding a spiritual home. We want a place where we can be ourselves. It will feel right as soon as we walk inside.”
I had my first meeting with a real estate agent recently. As a first-time homebuyer, my wish list includes details about size, style, neighborhood and price. I’d like to have enough room to entertain friends, an extra space for overnight guests, a large kitchen and lots of windows. I want a place that feels like home. Chances are, “I’ll know it when I see it.”
Some of today’s spiritual seekers, not unlike the first-time homebuyer, go with checklist in hand of must-have amenities for a spiritual home: music that enlivens the liturgy, preaching that enlightens our lives and a warmth that makes one feel welcome. Other young adults find themselves asking many questions, wanting to be sure of all their risk before making an investment. We have questions about the liturgy, concerns about moral dilemmas and difficulties with particular aspects of faith.
I suspect that for many young adults, “I’ll know it when I see it,” applies just as aptly to finding a spiritual home. We want a place where we can be ourselves. It will feel right as soon as we walk inside. There will be space to socialize, time to pray and room for our friends. We find God in many places, but we want a place that feels like home.
Connecting to God
Young adult spirituality incorporates time-honored rituals and contemporary expressions of faith, from the safe confines of a church to the various high-tech resources we utilize to connect with God. Some people pray best with an iPod in their pocket
. Many connect with God through their work with the less fortunate
. Some find great comfort in the rich traditions of the church
like daily Mass, the rosary and eucharistic adoration. For others, the anonymity of the Internet provides a safe place to ask questions and search out answers
. Or perhaps a session of Theology-on-Tap
at the local pub or nearby church basement is more their style.
In this Easter season we hear many stories of people who encounter the risen Jesus. Thomas is convinced that “I’ll know it when I see it,” and he has a checklist in mind. “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).
Thomas is adamant that he needs to see Jesus in order to believe. When Thomas finally stands face to face with the Risen Lord, Jesus says to him in reply, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (John 20:29).
Believing what we cannot see
Faith is about believing what we cannot see. We go searching and looking for God in many places. We trust that God is present in prayer, community, Word and sacrament. God is present in the caring arms of a friend and in the face of the poor. God knows our questions, and God is with us in the moment of silence at the end of a busy day. There are times when God’s presence is so obvious and unmistakable. Other times, we trust that God is near even when we cannot see, feel or hear God. Walking by faith means not walking by sight but trusting that our loving God is leading us home. Our hearts are restless until we find that place.
How will you know it when you see it?
What do you look for in a faith community? When have you walked by faith and not by sight? Share your thoughts by clicking on Contact Us