Searching for answers

We’re always searching for answers. When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens wouldn’t work in zero gravity. NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 C. I was thinking about that the other day. How do you even go about figuring out something like that?

The beginning of the Gospel of John presents a challenge comparable to writing in space! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without him not one thing came into being.”

Profound, cryptic, mystical — or you might just say — hard to understand. John applies the KISS principle. Keep-it-simple-sweetheart! And the Gospel comes down to earth! By the way — do you know how the Russians solved the problem of writing in space? They used a pencil!

What are you looking for?

“What are you looking for?”  Those are Jesus’ first words. What are you looking for? Most people answer that question by saying that they just want to happy. Dating sites say you can be happy with the right partner, marketers say that it’s owning their product, drugs promise to give temporary relief. Dr Phil asks, “How’s that working for you?”

Crisis is those times in our lives when we come face to face with the recognition that nothing we’ve done, and nothing we can do, will give us what we’re looking for

Those times in our lives are crises. Identity. Mid-life. Whenever it is, it’s those times in our lives when we come face to face with the recognition that nothing we’ve done, and nothing we can do, will give us what we’re looking for. Ecclesiastes, written some 2500 years ago, asks,  “What’s worth working for, living for, giving your life for?” Oprah asks, “What fills your spirit? Gives you joy?”

What gives meaning and purpose to your days and nights?

It’s THE question that gnaws away at us until we finally face it. After spending the day with Jesus the two disciples knew that in Jesus they’d found what they’d always been seeking. So profoundly had he connected with their fundamental spirituality, satiating their spiritual hunger, so that they couldn’t deny the truth of who he was.

They knew he was:

  • The Messiah
  • The Savior
  • God’s Word made flesh for us

Nothing less than God can fill us

It was Augustine who said that our hearts are so small they aren’t a decent meal for crow, and yet so large that nothing less than God will fill them. We’re spiritual beings having a human experience, and nothing less than God can fill us.

What they were looking for, what we’re all looking for is to live in that connection, where we feel whole, complete. We need to abide in that place where our lives have meaning, direction, purpose, where we can be accepted and acceptable. We need a place where we can find strength for today and hope for tomorrow, where love replaces fear and we live in a peace that passes our understanding, where we are accepted and acceptable.

The disciples ask Jesus, “Where are you staying?” It’s translated that way, but it means where do you live, abide, remain? Jesus has what they and we are looking for. “Come and see.” That’s Jesus’ invitation. “come and see.”  We are called exactly as we are, exactly where we are, to “come and see.”

Jesus does not say, “do this,” He says, “come and see, follow me.” There’s a big difference. Being a disciple is a call to a relationship. It’s a whole lot different from signing up to do something. (Just like falling in love is very different from serving on a committee).

We’re called into a relationship of dependence, where we can know and trust that God is good, all the time. And all the time God’s will for us is good. That God keeps his promises. That God will never leave us or forsake us.

That’s what I am always trying to plant in the hearts and minds of our little ones. Jesus lives here. And he loves us even more than we fathom. Throughout this life we need to trust that, to remember that, to abide in that, to rest in that.

God’s got your back

Making that relationship the central focus of our lives is about centering ourselves, each and every day, in that relationship.

  • Taking time for prayer
  • Taking time for Scripture
  • Taking time for devotions

And then trusting that whatever it is that happening in our lives, God’s got it. God’s got your back. That’s abiding. Not my will, but thy will be done. Hour by hour, day by day, we’ll find what we’ve always been looking for.

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