Monday, September 10 – What do you want?
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.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
By: Roselle Heckendorn
Five years ago, as part of a sabbatical, I went on an eight-day silent retreat at a beautiful retreat center in Gloucester. Part of my goal in this retreat was to discern what God was calling me to as I approached the empty-nest stage of life. Every day I met with a Spiritual Director who gave me a passage of scripture to engage with and a question to ponder (this was the only time I got to speak to someone over the eight days!). On the second or third day, she gave me this question and passage.
I spent the whole day thinking about my answer to the question “what do you want?” As I reflected on this passage, initially it seemed like the disciples’ response “Where are you staying?” to Jesus’ question “What do you want?” was just the first thing that popped into their heads. I imagined them trying to follow Him without Him knowing and being embarrassed to be discovered. But later I thought that perhaps they wanted to know where he was staying because they just wanted to spend time with him and He must have discerned that because He invited them to spend the day with Him. So initially I said: “well that’s what I want too – I just want to be with you.” But I wasn’t sure if that was really what I wanted, or if I was just saying what sounded like the right answer.
All day, different answers to that question would come into my head: Did I want to go to seminary and become a pastor? Did I want to move to the west coast and be closer to my children? I felt that every option wasn’t what I most wanted. In the afternoon, I biked around Gloucester, and some of my favorite places in New England and I saw beautiful homes in idyllic settings and again I sensed that question Is this what you want? A home by the sea in Gloucester? And while I thought that it would be nice, I knew again it wasn’t what I wanted most of all. That evening I went to my favorite beach, still unsure that I had an answer to this question. And as I walked on the beach, I remembered a conversation with David, my husband, before we were engaged. He was trying to help me prepare for a job interview at a major corporation and he asked me, “So where do you see yourself in 20 years?” And in that moment, all I wanted to say was, “I don’t care what I’m doing, or where I’m living, I just want to be with you.” That was the moment I realized I had met the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with! And that evening on the beach five years ago, I realized it was true that what I most wanted in life was just to be with Jesus—it didn’t matter what I was doing or where I was living, so long as I was with Him.
Engaging with the Scripture
Today, we are using a method of engaging with scripture developed by Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.
1st Reading:Visualize yourself in today’s story from John’s Gospel. Don’t seek intellectual insights or to analyze the text— stay with the imagery. Use your senses to see, touch, feel, and hear the scene unfolding before you. What part of the story are you drawn to? Which character do you identify with, or are you a bystander?
2nd Reading: Experience the story in the role of the character God led you to. Then talk with the Lord.
● What do you feel?
● How does this relate to something in your life today?
● What is God saying to you?
Please share your thoughts, insights and experiences of trying to live out this scripture in the comment section below.
Songs that relate to today’s theme