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What do you long for in your relationship with God?

Phase 2: My Relationship with God
Wookbook Exercise: My Garden Plot

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Transcript of Video:

Nature takes time. There is so much in terms of cycle, seeds are slow to grow, and I so often want things to go quickly or have an expectation of what is possible, what should be possible now. And part of the journey is learning to be patient, learning to slow down, learning to change my expectations of what God is inviting. Sometimes I sense what God is inviting me to and, as my spiritual director told me, it may be something you are living into ten years later, when I am thinking it is going to happen next month, and I keep coming back to that. Maybe this is the thing that yes, I am working towards and maybe I will be there ten years later. What I am doing today is important and it is another step on the journey but I may not see the fruit now. That’s part of the process. I am trying to look to the future and wait for today.

– Br. Luke Ditewig

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64 Comments

  1. Richard A Dixon on August 23, 2017 at 12:58

    Gosh this is difficult – what do I long for in my relationship with God?

    I want to become the man God created me to become, and to relate to him from that position. The place of, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

  2. Sue on March 24, 2017 at 12:28

    Just a stronger sense of Gods presence and direction, I think

  3. Nancy on March 15, 2017 at 08:37

    Signs that I am on the right path. Patience. A sense of well-being.

  4. Vicki on March 5, 2016 at 06:34

    I long for time to reflect and plan or listen to myself and God. I am so busy sometimes with important things and sometimes not. I long for giving myself enough time to sit at Jesus’s feet and not just rush around preparing the dinner and resenting or not doing the work. I long for feeling comfortable doing that or not and doing it anyway instead of choosing to work instead of just being with God . I know I make that choice because I am more comfortable helping than worshipping.

  5. Alan Rollins on February 23, 2016 at 22:21

    I long for God’s guidance to help me get away from old habits and actions that constantly haunt me, and have done so for much of my life. I would also like to understand where I may be going; i.e. where God may be sending me in the future. I pray that I can be the person that God had intended me to be, when He put me in this world.

  6. pati mitchell on February 21, 2016 at 16:50

    Funny how early catechism has played its part with me. I long to Know, Love, and Serve God…just what they say is why God made me. Who would have known?

  7. Donald Sutton III on February 21, 2016 at 13:39

    For me I want a closer Relationship with God. I want to become fully obedient to his will and to do what he his calling me to do. The thing that is holding me out from getting there is being to ambitious and some what impatient.

  8. Eugene Wright on February 19, 2016 at 21:03

    More than anything else, I want to know God intimately.

  9. Carol Ward on February 19, 2016 at 17:18

    Oh my! I don’t long for much of anything. Similiarily, I don’t regret many things either. I’ve mastered these two because I rarely have control over much of this, especially the things that are already done! I’ve worked at letting things happen as they happened. Recently someone was pushing me to do something & I told them, “I want this to happen organically. It needs to feel that the time is right & I do not know precisely when that will be.” I guess that is my attitude towards God. I’m not in a position to make something happen on my schedule or on my terms. It just seems so outrageous for me to even think in that manner. I’ve always been amazingly lucky. The important things seem to happen without me fretting about them or over-thinking them. I think for me it is about knowing when! I need to be watchful & listen to how things feel so I know when it is right or when things need to change. I wish I could say that I’d figured out everything in my life but in general things come in their time. That is what is useful about this class. I’m made to slow down & consider things.

  10. Debbie on February 19, 2016 at 16:32

    Patience how many time have I been reminded of how much I need to practice this. When God does answer it is permanent and better that what I could have expected for dreamed of. God has a plan, I sometimes do not believe this but I am also reminded in suttle ways that he has full control even if I may not understand why.

  11. CH on February 18, 2016 at 18:56

    …that I experience a sense of rest in God’s loving arms.
    …that I would live by faith and not by sight (II Cor 5:7)
    …that my character develops to be more like Jesus, and that I respond to situations and challenges with God’s love and God’s wisdom.
    …that I bear fruit that lasts.
    …that a develop a heart of gratitude to God for being in my life and thanksgiving for what he has done for me and those whom I love.

    “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 3:10-14

  12. a city monk on February 18, 2016 at 10:27

    as Brother Luke spoke of the need for patience, my heart added “faithfulness” as what I longed for in my relationship with God. Sometimes it seems that I express my impatience with God’s timing by changing the commitments I’ve made. It is as if I secretly believe that with the “right” combination of practices, I can provoke God to shorten the germination of the seeds sown in my heart. I’ve repeatedly done that… do that…
    Once there was a faithful fervor in the stream of patience that carried me through days even years… now, as the psalms say, I remember those days when God walked with… there is a humility though that shines a light of God’s love on my pride, ‘self’ confidence a poor substitute for trust in the Lord…
    Such a Hosea lenten season this is…

  13. NA on February 18, 2016 at 08:27

    I am currently in the process of breaking through a long standing blockage of sorts, turning from the things I did that kept me focused in the wrong direction, however well-intentioned I might have been. I spent a lot of my life thinking the way to please God was one thing for me, but He is now taking me somewhere new. I guess what I long for is to be faithful to do my part every day and not to allow myself to slide back into old no-longer-useful patterns.

  14. Robert Corey on February 18, 2016 at 06:47

    Would Jesus have us plant vineyards, I often ask. Vineyards and orchards. There seems to be an aversion to staying put. Take up your cross and follow me. Consider the sparrows. Do we even sit still long enough to reap what we have sown, or is gleaning and forage the Christian life?

    In my life, I’m a dresser of figs. One scores a fig, beginning a ripening process that takes about a week. When the week elapses, the fruit belongs to whoever might then pass. It’s like feeding the parking meters of strangers. What does a dresser of figs long for? A place to settle? Grapes and olives and fat graineries? Threshing floors and oil presses? Day laborers and vagabonds long to be capitalists. I know of one capitalist in the Gospels who longs for a drop of water. I long to see that good things I intend for others actually does good.

  15. Darla on February 18, 2016 at 00:10

    I long to love God on a deeper level. I long for my love for God to cast out fear, and self doubt so that I will obey and not let my fear, or impatience lead me astray. I long for the love that God has for me to be manifest in my loving others as God loves me. I long for God to consider me not only a servant ,but also a friend.

  16. Julia on February 17, 2016 at 22:33

    Intimacy, understanding, and a dissolution of self.

  17. Catriona Laing on February 17, 2016 at 21:40

    I long to know what God has planned for me. I have so many ideas about what I think l might be doing in five or ten or twenty years time, I would love to know what it was that God had planned. I also long for deep intimacy with God and the patience to seek that.

  18. susan zimmerman on February 17, 2016 at 21:12

    answers to life long prayers

  19. Stan on February 17, 2016 at 20:43

    I am a person who longs for little. I have been immeasurable blessed with having everything I need, and more. A warm place to live, good food on the table, a meaningful career, good friends, the most kind, loving, wonderful woman in the world as my wife, and the opportunity to have been able to share the joys of raising her amazing children since they were young. And I have come to understand the presence and deep love of God within us.

    Yet, even with all these Blessings, I find that I am still filled with some rather self-serving tendencies. So I believe that what I most desire from my relationship with God could perhaps be better attention on my part, as God tends my Garden. You see, I usually don’t hear Him whispering in my ear about being less self-serving and more loving until I’ve already lost my opportunity.

  20. Paul on February 17, 2016 at 18:02

    I want what so many people in this thread have so earnestly cried out for — (1) the conscious awareness and experience of God’s presence in my life; and (2) trust in Jesus’ promise, his covenant with me, to abide in me no matter what trials and suffering may befall me in this life. To what end? I ask. That I may make real God’s love for others, through my service to them, through my prayers for them, and by always being an instrument of God’s peace and love. … Tall order. … Maybe in ten years.

  21. Jane on February 17, 2016 at 17:50

    I also want to be patient, to take my time in discerning God’s invitation. Retirement has brought lots of free time. Free time that, when I was working, I was sure I would for all of the things I’m interested in. But now I find that I need to go slowly and determine what my life’s purpose is. I don’t want to aimlessly fill up my days with activities for the sole purpose of keeping busy. I hope for continued spiritual growth and development and want to plant seeds that will help me accomplish this… It will probably be trial and error… And I’m just now getting to the point where I am realizing that that’s okay…

  22. Tom on February 17, 2016 at 16:50

    My friend immediately said “intimacy” My response took a bit longer. I want vision and patience. I want to see more fully the present moment with God’s presence enlightening it; while also not “running ahead of divine providence.” I think intimacy says all of that.much better.

  23. Jeff Lowry on February 17, 2016 at 15:47

    I feel God is with me and am very thankful He has shepherded me thus far. Yet it is hard for me to “Let go and let God” – so to speak.

    I have been a caregiver professionally and personally for almost 30 years. My mother has
    COPD and is in the winter of her life. She is relatively in decent health; for which I thank
    God immensely. Yet she is my last relative – save my daughter (who has her own life). So my queries and prayers tend to be about what is next.

  24. Rhode on February 17, 2016 at 14:06

    I long for His approval.

    • Stan on February 17, 2016 at 20:18

      Rest assured that God loves you. Think about that. That is Divine. Remind yourself of this every time you’re unsure of His Approval. There can be no Approval greater than God’s Love

  25. Christopher Buckley on February 17, 2016 at 13:35

    What do I long for?

    In plain terms, God.

    But someone once said God is as close to me as my very skin – nay – my very breath. So to say that I long for God is to say that I long to be able to more keenly sense God. I long to turn my face toward God so I can see Him. I long to tilt my head toward God so I can more keenly hear Him. I long to open my arms to feel God’s breezes moving about me and within me.

    There was a time, a few years ago, where I could sense God better than I can now. Then life happened. I stopped listening. I stopped pausing. I stopped even looking for God. And now, I’m out of the habit of even trying to sense God’s moving around me. That’s why I’m here.

  26. gwedhen nicholas on February 17, 2016 at 13:26

    I long to have my roots deeply embedded in God, and live down to those depths where He abides so that I may produce fruit. I want to live down into to the place where there is water and nutrients to nurture my relationship with God, so that I may give to others; so that I may be a mighty tree whose branches are a resting place for others.And that I may produce for them what they need; that my fruit might be available for them to feed on; so that I might help God in His desire to nourish others so they might grow.

  27. Dorothy P. on February 17, 2016 at 12:43

    I want a deeper awareness of God’s presence. It doesn’t have to be continuous, or even daily — my short answer to yesterday’s question, “Do you feel connected to God’s love everyday?” was “No”. I think the quality counts more than the quantity, so really I want that awareness of Presence whenever I need it most, wherever I happen to be, whatever I am doing at the time. I think that once that “ah-ha! God is with me!” moment hits, everything else will fall into place, no matter what.

  28. Pam on February 17, 2016 at 12:36

    I wish to be filled more and more with God that I know, all the time, that God is enough.

  29. Nancy Walter on February 17, 2016 at 12:29

    I long to be more assured of God’s presence.

  30. Robert on February 17, 2016 at 12:18

    This is very relevant. The absolute importance of staying in the moment and living each day in the present is the goal, but there is not question it is a struggle. In those moments when it can be achieved, there is no doubt that the space exists to serve God and others fully.

  31. brent on February 17, 2016 at 11:47

    I long for something I know I may never attain: a certainty that God is there, that I am hearing/feeling/speaking with God and not just the echo of my own desires and longings. I do feel the presence of God very strongly at certain times: in the Maundy Thursday procession of the Sacrament, to name a very specific example, but also in certain Gospel stories where Jesus’s teaching achieves a certain perfection, and in the singing of certain hymns, where I seem to enter into a communion with the fervid belief of many others over time. I long to be able to connect these moments of heightened connection to the everyday run of hours and days, when that certainty is harder for me to feel.

  32. Mryka on February 17, 2016 at 10:37

    I want God to show me the big picture so I can see how all the little daily cycles fit in and perhaps be better able to see what God wants of me now. About 20 years ago I responded to what I think God was telling me to do – He had to almost hit me over the head to get me to believe it because it didn’t sound like anything “religious”. I spent about 15 years thinking “OK, I’m here, I’m doing what I thought You wanted, so how do I know.” Then in prayer I had an epiphany that God had prepared me all my life to be able to do something, and this strong urge was to get me to a place where what he had prepared me to give would match with a situation where that gift would be valued and developed. It wasn’t the instantaneous “I want you here to do this now” situation at all. This realization has made me much more able to listen to God in the smaller things like how today He wants me to use His gifts, knowing that there is a bigger picture that He is urging us towards.

  33. Michael on February 17, 2016 at 10:03

    It seems so many struggle to find a relationship with God that they understand, but perhaps it is not for us to understand at all but simply accept. Like so many others I am a Doubting Thomas, my faith fluctuates given the daily conditions of living, but I know God does not wax and wane. Somethimes that has to be enough. It’s hard not to have clarity, but God simply may be protecting us from ourselves because we are not ready to see or understand the clarity we pray for

  34. Maria Thornton McClain on February 17, 2016 at 10:00

    I long for encouragement.

  35. Denise on February 17, 2016 at 09:57

    In my relationship with God, I long for more trust. In life I often think that I have to fix something, work harder, be in charge. But that often leads to frustration and despair when I can’t do it all. Learning to Let God, to truly believe that God is in charge, to do my best and leave the rest… that is faith.

  36. Claire on February 17, 2016 at 09:48

    An increasing awareness of His presence. Thank you for the video and message that perhaps your seed won’t come to fruition until 10 years from now. My awareness has increased over the years, but I yearn for more and more.

  37. Betty Donahue on February 17, 2016 at 09:02

    In my relationship with God Iong for a lasting secure loving relationship where I don’t question that she is there. I also want a relationship with God where I am silent when she reaches out to me, and I listen to what she tells me and follow the path she sets out for me. I know that God loves me and accepts me as I am and I want to do the same for her.

  38. Juliana on February 17, 2016 at 09:02

    I long to see His face one day. I long for His presence. I long to participate in Him being glorified and to see His glory. I long to better understand my vocation here on earth and help relieve the suffering of others… Many times I am not sure if I am living as He wants me to. But yet I have given up most “boxes” and am satisfied in simply knowing Him as He makes Himself known to me. I often ask Him to speak my language, to speak to me in a way that I can understand Him. I have been trying to rest in the awareness that I am in a process, and just be patient that He is guiding me.

  39. Claudette Jones on February 17, 2016 at 08:58

    I want God to know I am following his teachings, but at times I feel he is not hearing me.

  40. Kristi on February 17, 2016 at 08:48

    I would love to feel a closer relationship with God, and I know that’s something that takes time, devotion and patience. In this world where we have to have everything NOW, this is something where patience is KEY. I’m willing to slow down, listen and do what’s needed to have a more intimate relationship with God. After years of neglecting my spiritual life, I’m ready to pay more attention and nurture that part of my life and soul.

    • Stan on February 17, 2016 at 20:07

      That is a very nice comment, and it sounds heartfelt. My comment to you is that you will find God where you look for Him … you only have to be open to things which you’ve blocked out before. My advice is to begin by looking at (and into) yourself first, with an open heart and mind.

  41. Bettie on February 17, 2016 at 08:33

    To know. To be convicted. I’m a doubting Thomas. Perhaps ‘proof’ is all around me and I don’t recognize it – except in the glory of nature. I long for that ‘personal relationship’ that others profess to have.

  42. Steve on February 17, 2016 at 08:07

    Amazing timing! I have begun the process of discerning the priesthood (bi-vocational ) and had very recently felt I was rushing it.
    Very timely devotion today.

  43. William Spies on February 17, 2016 at 07:52

    I hope to better understand what God wants me to do. I just yesterday said yes to taking over the responsibility of overseeing the care of my church’s facilities, so all night last evening I felt so unprepared to take on this responsibility. The person I am replacing was so good at it so the bar is very high. So now I pray that God will be there to guide me to do the job ahead rightly. I need to add that through my fear of not being what’s needed with my feelings of doing it perfectly from the start come into play, so I need to I to instead be quite and listen instead for God to show me the way.

  44. Cindy M on February 17, 2016 at 07:49

    I desire an awareness of God’s presence in and around all things and a sense of connectedness.

  45. Debbie McMahon on February 17, 2016 at 07:47

    I long for truth. Truth about myself, about others, understanding of God’s truth for my life. God has blessed me more and more with His gifts. I am always seeking and want more, but not in the sense that what I have is not enough. In the sense that as I live, I will continue to progress toward oneness with God, a true understanding of myself and in relation with others.

  46. Catherine on February 17, 2016 at 07:43

    I long for healing, for patience, for joy, for obedience. These are all fruits that I must rely on the spirit to grow in me. It’s true that I want these fruits now, but I am willing to wait for them. I only want to see progress. I don’t want to feel like I’m stuck and not making my way towards them.

  47. Bobbi on February 17, 2016 at 07:42

    I long for God’s presence, whatever that might look like. I don’t like the void I feel when God appears absent.

  48. J on February 17, 2016 at 07:40

    My answer isn’t lofty. I long when l am spun around by life challenges I would immediately feel God’s presence and not feel afraid. I would be so close and so connected that God’s abiding prrsence would overtake and put out the negative emotion. But in my current state I have to struggle to get there and that process makes me think my faith is not really strong, not where it should be.

    • gwedhen nicholas on February 17, 2016 at 13:33

      I think that through your struggles you are strengthening the faith you already have. You are growing and becoming more the person that God wishes you to be. G

  49. Marguerite Sheehan on February 17, 2016 at 07:31

    I long to love God so much that I am turning always to see what God is doing and is saying to me. I long to be responsive, to be captivated and to be at rest in our relationship while also bring surprised by who this God is and who I am becoming. I long to expect invitations from God but to have no idea what the invitation is going to be. I long to experience God looking through the portals of my eyes and to look down and see God’s hands at the end of my wrists and to feel God poking me awake.

  50. Linda on February 17, 2016 at 07:25

    I do appreciate the reminder of patience in this video. When we rush our expectations of ourselves, of others or of God, things can evolve prematurely and the results might not be nearly as fulfilling as we would like. I of course long for a closer relationship with God and want it NOW. The thing is, God has a relationship with me and always has…always will. It’s my recognition of that relationship that I need to continue to nurture and develop with daily practice and an understanding that I am growing towards God, knowing, however, that God has embraced me in his vines of love since the day I was born. With steadfast patience, I will continue my journey towards opening my eyes to this beautiful embrace.

  51. Sara on February 17, 2016 at 06:52

    The image of God as the Gardener of my soul really works for me. The image of the trellis has helped me understand my spiritual disciplines in a new way. It’s been profoundly eye opening. This Lenten study has helped me see the importance of corporate worship, study, and service. I’m not a tiny little garden out here all alone. Maybe we’re a giant ecosystem of gardens connected by God’s love. I give thanks to God for the brothers of SSJE and their ministry.

  52. Neil Ellis Orts on February 17, 2016 at 06:44

    I feel that in my 20s, I had an intimacy or maybe immediacy that I don’t have now. Perhaps this is how long term relationships are (I have no such human relationship to compare personally) and my 20s was simply the fervency of youth and young love. There was also a certainty that I now recognize as not entirely helpful but some days I could stand a bit more certainty, too.

    Also, now in my middle age, I lack clarity. I felt that I had some notion once of what God was calling me to, and actually, the calling hasn’t changed so much but it’s frustrated. It hasn’t been a career. I realize that not everyone’s calling turns into a career, and yet I find I’m envious of those for whom career and calling are the same.

    And yet, I know God is here. God is with me and also with you. The rest is all emotions that can become idols. Asking for more or even just “different” feels like greed.

    Still, if you ask what I long for in my relationship with God, the above is it. More intimacy, immediacy, clarity, vocational satisfaction. For what it’s worth.

    • CKF on March 15, 2017 at 11:20

      “…and yet I find I’m envious of those for whom career and calling are the same.” I really identify with this line and other statements in your post, except I never felt a certainty in my 20s. My whole adult life I’ve never felt any certainty about what I should be doing with my talents. I’ve always struggled and wondered what my purpose is (on a specific, daily level, not the overarching “love others as you would yourself, and love God…” level).

      I long for the discernment between:
      Should I just be more patient that God’s plan is unfolding and relax? (or is this just a cover for fear and laziness?)
      and
      Should I be more courageous and proactive in taking steps to figure out God’s plan for me? (or is this trying to “force the issue” out of impatience or lack of faith?)

      I feel like I have spent (wasted?) most of my adult life living the status quo and letting things happen to me, yet I also don’t know in which direction to take steps if God wants me to be more active in creating my own path. I feel God shaking his head as he looks lovingly down upon me, wishing that his lost lamb wouldn’t tax herself into paralysis with obsessive thinking. But I don’t know if he’s shaking his head because I don’t have patience and faith or because I don’t have the courage to move in any direction and use the valuable gifts he’s given me. Ugh.

      I am blessed in so many earthly ways that it feels self-indulgent to spend so much time thinking about my purpose. But this is my soul we’re talking about, right? So how can that be trivial?

  53. Jim V on February 17, 2016 at 06:44

    Consistency, clarity, strength
    Peace, hope and Love

  54. Karen on February 17, 2016 at 06:39

    Direction, intimacy, laughter, protection.

  55. Suzanne on February 17, 2016 at 06:24

    For God to know that I love him and want to follow him more closely every day.

  56. Mrs T on February 17, 2016 at 02:24

    Intimacy and purpose a sense of connection

  57. Elizabeth Polese on February 16, 2016 at 22:03

    A better understanding of where God feels I am needed to serve. I want to know God better. God knows my needs, what are God’s needs? A relationship to me, means give and take. Working together. When my relationship with God is strong. I feel strong

  58. Susan Linda Rajkumar on February 16, 2016 at 21:12

    I long for God to teach me to fight temptation and to reveal his will in my life.

  59. Ruth West on February 16, 2016 at 18:52

    I want a constant awareness of His presence. It is hard for me to be patient and wait for an answer to prayer. But as we have heard many times, even when the clouds are thick and we cannot se the sun, we know the sun is still there. So it is with knowing His presence. He is always there, sometimes much more visible to us than at other times. I treasure my relationship with Him.

    • Sally Baynton on February 17, 2016 at 22:49

      That is my answer, too. Constancy. On MY part. I know He is always there!

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