What Are You Looking For?

Maybe it’s my problem. Maybe not. Focused upon the question, “Where is Jesus in my life?”

Two impacts to that. The first when I was in the 8th grade, or thereabouts. A great buddy, Doug, still a dearest friend, invited me to a Billy Graham rally. His mother took us to the literal tent and unyielding folding chairs and sawdust. Graham was ill so George Beverly Shay was the preacher.

As Doug’s mother dropped us off, she said, “You two stay together. I’ll come back to pick you up.”

[I never thought about why she didn’t join us!]

After the sermon came the “come up to link with Jesus” invitation. Well, it was more direct…actually a threat that hid fear, “You NEED to accept Jesus, for Jesus is the only way to God.”

Down deep, even at the still-learning age of 12 I didn’t believe that.

So. I decided to stay in my seat, because I thought Jesus and I were doing okay.

Then. Movement. Doug got up, started walking forward!

My only “sense” was, THERE GOES MY RIDE!

We were given a small red book, only the Gospel of John and told, “This contains everything you need to know about Jesus.”

I took the book like everyone else. And, for sure, I didn’t know where everyone else was with Jesus. Truth? I really didn’t care…just didn’t want to miss my ride.

Fast forward to today.
Just read the sermon from who is becoming my Monday morning preacher, Joanne Carlson Brown. Am selecting part of her sermon…so helpful to me…and anyone else who has all the answers about Jesus and God.

For I believe anyone who has all the answers about God and Jesus simply hasn’t asked enough of the questions.

Here and there, but perfect targeting on the question of faith and growth and being with God and Jesus and one another…Joanne? To you!

“In my life of faith I have fallen into spiritual black holes.” Indeed. Faith doesn’t always keep me from falling or being so low I have to reach up to touch bottom.” [That’s a thank-you to Bill Coffin!]

“The idea that God was only male made no sense to me.” She went on to get biblical, “Fine I said, let’s turn to Psalm 91 where it says that God will spread God’s wings over you and cover you with God’s feathers…see there, God is a chicken” o
“I don’t doubt that God could be in charge of everything in the world. I’m just not sure that a wise and empowering God would choose such a course—to infantilize us by controlling us so completely—to do for us what we are perfectly capable of doing for ourselves with God’s grace.”

Then the focusing dynamic of the scripture lesson when Jesus “turns to the disciples and meets them where they are.” He doesn’t proselytize or push or manipulate or control or judge or push. Instead he engages them, asking a question that gets to the heart of our human experience: “WHAT, Jesus asks, ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?”

Ah, the key. “Jesus then answers to them, ‘Come and see.’ In other words, he meets them where they are and encourages them to go further.

Jesus is a journey. Subtle, emergent, flexible, and flowing. Jesus is a journey toward the answer to the most important question of our lives: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?”


This is both a Post Script and a Chapter Heading to the shared thought from Joanne and me:

About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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