Thursday, October 22, 2015

What Do You Want?

We live in a strange world; one where you can get just about anything you want if you have the desire and the means and the energy to follow through. This was not so true in ancient times. Getting a leg up on the competition was not easy. There were "glass ceilings" for just about everyone at every level of society except those at the very top. It was, most of the time, very hard to get what you wanted, at least in the material sense.

In Jesus' time, in the Roman world, there were many people searching for the things they wanted. Among the Jews, there were people searching for the Messiah and signs of His arrival. It's in that setting, at the beginning of the gospel of John, Jn 1:35-39, that Jesus has the following conversation.

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

That is always the question of the day isn't it? What do you want? 

For me, the answer has always been hope and peace. Jesus has been the only one that has been able to help me with my goals. It has not always been so. In the days when I did not know him well, we had disagreements. We still experience conflict from time to time and it usually comes down to my lack of faith and trust. Sometimes I lack the willingness to do the things He wants me to do because I am scared or I lack information or I do not fully trust the people in whose hands He has placed me. People get banged up in this life, even within the Church, and trust is the first thing that goes out the window. 

I am naturally skeptical. I am always looking for ulterior motives and hidden agendas. I wonder why that is? Maybe that's because I have seen so much of that in my life. You never see what's really driving people until a plan comes to fruition.

My thought is that I need to give up the skepticism about people. If I get burned, so be it. It's not like that never happened to Jesus now is it? Jesus loved despite the fact that He knew He would be betrayed and His own people would kill Him.

I guess what I am getting at is that if I give up the skepticism and distrust, let the chips fall where they may and become vulnerable to whatever happens, then maybe I will find what I want. I have the hope. I just need the peace. I did not find the hope in others - not my peers in the world or even in the church. I found my hope in Jesus. I will also have to find my peace there. 

Hope and peace does not come from other people. The only source of those things is the Messiah! If there was one thing that He could count on, it was the fickle nature of His people. Why should I expect it to be any different for me? And further to the point, what about my own fickle nature? How many times have I not been what others were looking for - or what Jesus wants me to be? 

Ghog needs to get over his bad self and start living in the tension that he talked about yesterday - the tension between grace and truth. 

I hope I'm ready to do that. I'm kind of old to start with, but we will see how it goes.

Onward into the fog.     

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