The right time for God to find us

With the holiday of Shavuot fast approaching I find myself thinking a lot about God and the gift of revelation. Dr. Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote a famous book called God in Search of Man.  So many of my conversations with people center around the search for God. Some find God on a mountain top, others are able to access the Divine in a moment of prayer or in acts of caring for another human being.  
More often than not, I have conversations with people who are angry and even frustrated that their search for God leaves them feeling empty. For many, God does not seem to be in the expected places. 
But what if what Heschel writes is true? What if we have it backwards?  Perhaps we are not the only one who is searching.  If we are truly in a relationship with the Divine, perhaps God needs each one of us and is searching too.
When Moses discovered the burning bush, he was not looking for Divine connection; he stumbled upon it.  Prophets like Jonah are great examples of people who did everything in their power to run in the other direction, but somehow they were not able to escape God’s call.  Even Jacob, when running away from his brother Esau, laid his head down on a stone pillow and was awakened to a ladder, a host of angels.  Jacob was surprised by the holiness he found in an unexpected place, one that he did not know.
A few weeks ago, I had the blessing of going to a seminar on the new High Holiday prayerbook, Mishkan HaNefesh.  The words Mishkan HaNefesh mean sanctuary of the soul.  I was really taken with a statement by Rabbi Edwin Goldberg who was explaining  why the new book contained so many different texts providing different theological lenses on commonprayers. For example, for the Avinu Malkeinu prayer, a beloved text that focuses on God’s parental sovereignty. Of course there are translations that affirm God’s supremacy, but there is also a counter text on a facing page that poses a deep human question to God. “Are you you care?“ Rabbi Goldberg explained that to have a text and a countertext across the page from one another is not a conflict. 
The goal of any prayer book, he suggests, is not always to help us find God.  The prayerbook is also there to help us find ourselves. There is space enough for the sceptic, or the angry, or the searcher, along side one imbued with faith. Judaism’s theological tent is large enough for each one of us to find our place without feeling claustrophobic.  Perhaps when we find ourselves in the text, we truly find our place in the community. Maybe then we place ourselves in the right place, and at the right time, for God to find us.