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Dave Brisbin

What Do You Seek?

Think of the best teachers you’ve had in your life.

Not just in classrooms. Friends, coaches, parents, bosses, leaders, anyone who showed up at the critical moment when you were ready to listen to a voice outside your own head. Didn’t they always seem to ask the perfect questions? Directing you where you didn’t even know you needed to go? This is the way of good teachers. Creating the best environment for change, providing tools, getting out of the way.

Two followers of John the baptizer peel off to follow his cousin Jesus as he walks along the banks of the Jordan. Jesus sees them, asks: What do you seek? What a loaded question. You’re following me, do you know why? Do you know what you want? What you’re about, your purpose? That’s a lot to process in a first meeting. They can’t answer, simply ask: Where are you staying? Jesus’ classic non-answer: Come and you will see.

Beautiful dialog. So simple yet real. Translation: What is your deepest desire and purpose? If you can’t say, come; we’ll find out together. Invitation as answer.

Jesus enters Jerusalem, sees a man lying by a pool believed to have healing properties for the first one in when the waters stirred. Ill for thirty-eight years, Jesus asks the man: Do you wish to get well? What seems almost insulting, condescending, is actually the very same question: What do you seek? What is your deepest desire? The man can’t answer; makes excuses, justifies why he can’t get to the pool in time. But Jesus has moved far beyond physical healing: the waiting is over, the kingdom—wholeness, completeness—is here…just pick up your pallet—the form of your victimhood—and walk. Leave your nets—the symbol of your former identity—and follow the direction of wellness.

Jesus is the best of teachers.

Always asking the same first question. Are we ready to listen? Do we know what we really desire, our deepest purpose? If not, are we ready to leave our nets—everything we think we know, pick up our pallets—all our reasons why not, and come and see where Jesus is staying? Far beyond physical location, it is always exactly what we seek. Long before we can find the words.


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  • Graham Kerr

    Today is my birthday, I am 89.
    Your blog perfectly stated my decision to become ‘one of the willing’
    To lay down my past and set out to become available, what ever that may bring.
    It’s more than enough, it’s everything!

    January 24, 2023

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