One would think that God, with all His holiness and righteousness and purpose, would be pushing me the most of all. Actually most often I do think and expect that of Him with regards to me; which has resulted in a great deal of side-stepping on my part. And yes, anger, too, along with a lot of self-pushing.
I even get the feeling that if I sometimes side-step and side-track far off the path, he would be willing to go crashing and clomping through the underbrush after me, and then extend his hand again, inviting me to go back to the path with Him so that we can carry on together.
Invitation. No pushing.
There is a sort of panicked, anxious feeling to pushing. An urgency, maybe anger and frustration too, and impatience, for sure. Like I am holding the pusher back. Exasperation, maybe demanding that I pick up the pace, maybe the implication that I am too stupid or too weak or to chicken to move forward fast enough. Maybe some 'just get over yourself' or 'sheesh, how many times do I have to explain this to you?' Maybe even threats.
But with invitation there are feelings of confidence in the purpose, faith, patience, welcome, accompaniment. There is joy, as in 'come with, you get to do this.' There is sharing, as in 'come with me.' There is faith in me, confidence that I can, that together we can, even if I think I can't. There is love and desire, as in 'I want you to come with me.' There is purpose. And since it is an open invitation there is patience and pursuit of me even if/when I hesitate or veer off or just sit down in fear. There isn't a feeling that if I say no I will ruin everything for both Him and me. I don't feel like there is a time pressure, as in 'this is a two day offer only.' But there is a feeling that if I say no I will be bereft.
In my life I have experienced invitation vs. pushing in fun and optional contexts, like being invited to an event that is going to happen whether or not I show up. Some people give an invitation freely, but many do not. For really important things in life, there is insistent pushing and demands vs. free invitation. There is the feeling that a push is necessary since this is too important to take the chance that you might say no to my invitation. I do this to myself, Sometimes, often, I did it in parenting.(Sorry kids.)
So for God, who holds the most important purpose of all - that being our very eternal survival - for God to then invite me and not push me? It's just not in my motivation paradigm.
What kind of love is this?