I had been chasing the donkeys.
What’s that, you ask? Well, the Bible tells the story of Saul, sent by his father to go with a servant and look for some lost donkeys (see I Samuel, chapter 9). They searched in Ephraim (Heb. “fruitful”), then checked in the land of Shalim (Heb. “foxes”). They looked all over the land of Benjamin (Heb. “son of the right hand”) and after that tried Zuph (Heb. “honeycomb”).
Then Saul decided it was time to head back. Gone so long, he thought their families at home might be worried. But his companion suggested that while in Zuph they might pass by the house of the prophet Samuel, so they did. What Saul didn’t realize is that the day before, God told Samuel that Saul should be the new ruler of Israel (see I Samuel, chapter 8). The prophet reassured him that the donkeys were safe - already found - and then he anointed Saul for his new mission.
To me, chasing the donkeys means more than searching for something – be it better health, a good relationship, or actual donkeys. Prayer that opens one wholeheartedly to the power of divine Love is never offered in vain. The journey of prayer can sometimes be as important as what we conceive as the outcome that we hope for. Fidelity, discipline, commitment, focus, perspicacity and persistence in prayer prepare us to receive more good in our lives.
In my case, the character development and spiritual growth that came out of those two years of prayer were worth more in the long run than the simple solution I sought. For two years I was chasing the donkeys; but the spiritual discoveries made along the way have since outlasted the healing moment and formed a strong platform for my healing practice.
The Psalmist sang,"The steps of a good man are led by the Lord. And He is happy in his way," (37:7) a sentiment reflected in the following words of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy: “When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 254) "If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy." (ibid 21:9)