Come and See

“What are you looking for?”

To answer this question, or comprehend it, requires so much stillness in our lives, so much solitude. A willingness to step back. To step away. There are too many competing signals in our lives, like a radio simultaneously tuned into 100 different stations. All of these signals distort our ability to know ourselves, fool us into believing that surface level things can be the things we want. So we start looking for things that won’t satisfy our genuine desire.

“What are you looking for?”

A cursory answer to this question reveals all the shallowness that human life has to offer. “More money,” we say, as if what we want can be found in pieces of multi-colored paper, or a larger number on our bank account statements. But numbers and paper, while giving us the ability to acquire, meet no deep-level need.

If the lie – that money is what we truly want – weren’t so sinister, and so believable, it would be funny. Who spends their life hoarding up pieces of paper? Who spends an existence trying to increase a number? But we believe that we need more money to be happy. We believe that money can buy us the stuff of which happiness is created.

When people asked Jesus what they needed to do to enter the kingdom of the heavens, he never said that they needed more money. But sometimes he told them they needed less, or that they needed to leave what they had.

There’s no financial threshold you need to meet before you can begin living out your purpose. You can start fulfilling your purpose anytime. You can start right now.

* * * * *

“What are you looking for?”

Perhaps you’ve gotten beyond the shallow answers to this question, to a place where you know things like “more money” or “a bigger house” or “a swimming pool” aren’t what you’re looking for. Somehow you’ve managed to tune out the “American Dream” signals and arrive at deeper things. You’re looking for stuff that’s not on the surface.

But even at this next level, the things you think you are looking for are still just mirages of something greater. Something more fantastic.

“I’m looking for a spouse,” some say.

“I’m looking for a job I enjoy,” others say.

Those are not bad things, but it’s still not what you are REALLY looking for.

By now I can hear some of you saying, Who do you think you are? You don’t know what I want!

You’re right, I don’t.

But I still think that most people who think they want a spouse actually just want to be truly known by another person, and still loved, even after all their peculiarities get exposed. We don’t want to be alone. We want to be loved for who we are.

Most of us who want to enjoy our job actually want purpose. We want to believe that our existence isn’t arbitrary and pointless.

Deeper still. We have to go deeper. Can you drown out all the other signals?

* * * * *

Somewhere inside all of us, the answer to the question “What are you looking for?” is the same answer the disciples gave to Jesus when he asked them that very question.

Their answer to his question was a question:

“Where are you staying?”

In other words, they were looking for God. And not just, “where is God,” but where is he staying, where is he, AMONG US.

I think all of us, at the deepest level, when asked “What do you want?” answer with the question, “Where is God?” And this question takes us to so many different places.

Some look for God in religion. Others try to find him by serving the poor. Some search for God in the great cathedrals in Europe, or in the solemn temples in the East. Some look for God in sex or material things, in other people, or even inside themselves. Some look for God at the end of a business transaction, or in the temporary high given by chemicals.

Some conclude that the answer to the question, “Where are you staying?” is…no where.

* * * * *

What if we realized that our answer to the question, “What are you looking for?” is not an answer, as much as it is another question. It’s not a destination as much as it is a journey. How would this change the way we lived? Interacted with others? Judged or chose not to?

What if we didn’t spend every waking moment trying to make more money, or looking for pleasure, or searching for a comfortable life?

What if we realized that at the heart of everything we truly want is the question, “Where is God?”

And what if, somehow, we could understand that his answer to our one true question is:

“Come and see.”

3 Replies to “Come and See”

  1. Interesting post! And I like how you pointed out how Jesus would often answer a question with one of His own. He doesn’t always spell it out, but He does let us know where we need to go, I think, to get the answers we seek.

  2. “What if we realized that at the heart of everything we truly want is the question, “Where is God?”

    That’s an interesting way of putting our search for meaning. I’m gonna have to let that one marinate on my mind for a while. Nice post.

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