Called to Passion - What do you want?
“What do you want?”
These are the first words Jesus spoke in John’s gospel (John 1:38). What are you really looking for? What lifts you to a new level? What is it that gives meaning to your life? What enables you to navigate the confusion of a world that changes every nanosecond? Which values make every day worth living in a world that seems hostile to the good news of Jesus?
These are all questions that can be answered if we grasp the driving importance of Jesus’ first question: What do you really want? And this question is addressed to all of us.
The question Jesus asked is profound. It goes beyond the material wish list. It confronts us and forces us to think seriously about our true longings and objectives. It forces us to search deeply into our motives for what really drives us to live each day with purpose. The action started with Jesus. He broke into their world as He passed them by. It was not they who had to seek Him out. All they had to do was be ready and waiting when He came – ready to take the risk and follow where He led. Jesus did not disappoint – as He never disappoints those who genuinely want to hear His call.
The disciples just followed Him. There was something about Him that drew them in. They saw the missing piece of their lives – a relationship with God. And then Jesus turned to face them. I cannot get the image of Jesus turning around out of my mind. It’s so much part of my life. How many times have I faced the big issues – choosing a career, proposing to my wife, changing jobs, dealing with conflict at work and in relationships – and chosen to follow His guidance? Yet, how often have I done so and not quite believed He would notice I was following? In my mind, a follower is the one who looks mostly at the leader’s back. But Jesus turns toward His followers. In the simple act of turning He shows His regard for every one of us seeking our calling. Attention is God’s greatest gift to us. He reaches out to us, and He responds as if we were the only ones marked for special attention.
Jesus’ question to the disciples goes more than skin deep. The question is not dismissive, it’s not confused rather, Jesus is asking the deeper question of "what are you seeking?" The drift of Jesus’ question is clear. What is the principal desire in your life? What are your passions? What dreams do you long to see fulfilled? What makes your life worth living? In effect, what is the main driver of your life, your calling?
As we struggle to find our true callings, Jesus reaches towards us. He does the calling, seeing us not as we have been pigeonholed by our own and others’ definitions, but by what He, through His indwelling Holy Spirit in our lives, is shaping us to be. Our lives are meaningful, not because we fulfill the projections of others but because we follow the promises of God for our future well-beings.