Footprints to Zanzibar

A Passage from the new book I’m reading…

Here it is..this is life-giving to me..

” What do you want Jesus to do for you?  Wanting to work with and watch Jesus is where transformation begins.  Willpower and discipline alone can never fix your soul.  Striving, pushing and trying harder will not recover your life.  Unforced rythms of grace depend on something more than self-mastery and self-effort.  The simple truth is that wanting to keep company with Jesus has a staying power that “should” and “oughts” seldom have.  Jesus wants us to recognize that hidden in our desperations and desires is an appetite for the Lord and Giver of Life.  In fact, he says, ‘You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.  He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” (Matthew 5:6 The Message)

The very first thing Jesus asked his soon-to-be disciples was, “What do you want?”  (John 1:37)  Over and over again he asked about desires:

  • “What is it you want?” (Matthew 20:21)
  • “What do you want me to do for you? (Matthew 20:32, Mark 10:36, 51)
  • “Do you want to get well? (John 5:6)

Jesus knew you wouldn’t get well if you didn’t WANT the responsibility that came with wellness.  He also knew that the mother of James and John was clueless about the meaning of her request to have her sons be power brokers in Jesus’ kingdom (Matthew 20:21).  So he pressed her to consider what her desire might mean.  Jesus never attempts to shut down people’s longings; nor does he ask people to transcend their longings as some religions do.  He knew human desire to be an incurable black hole of opportunity.

Learn from Jesus as he keeps company with people who WANT something.  Watch him attend to the hole in their heart that is bigger than the galaxy. Many of his deepest interactions with people get at two things: 1/the true nature of people’s desires and 2/a spiritual practice that helps them make space for God in their lives (in the verses below, the spiritual discipline is in quotation marks).

  • Martha desperately wants Mary to help her.  Jesus tells Martha to “detach” from her drivenness to serve and attend to the first thing – to him. (Luke 10: 41-42)  -Spiritual Disciplines Handbook-Practices that Transform Us by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, pp.16-17IMG_2126

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