who before what

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I had a conversation with a friend the other day. Not unusual, but still it’s worth mentioning: have conversations with friends folks.

This one started with him saying, “It seems like you’ve really found ‘your thing’ I wanna find my thing.” He had some post it’s in front of him and an intense brain storming air about him. He was mentioning about how some major life events had already happened, implying he had just made his way through life up til this point, but now he was ready to find his thing. This thing would be the large answer to angst and finances and boredom and purpose all wrapped into one. But he seemed a little clueless. I mean, not completely, he knew some things he liked doing or was good at but he really didn’t see how they coalesced into the great solution.

Several years ago I read this story about Jesus. He’d just heard that his cousin had been beheaded. He got in a boat and went to the far side of a big lake to be by himself. Understandably, he wanted to be alone. But, folks heard he would give out free healings. So they tracked him. When he got to the shore a crowd was waiting for him. It was exactly the thing he was trying to get away from. But when he saw them “he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Maybe it’s because I’m introverted, but that blew my mind.

When I realized that Jesus wasn’t just doing a job, something clicked. His concern was genuine not obligatory. He healed because he loved. His job grew from his identity. Instead of looking for one great solution to the question, “what ought I to do?” Jesus’ makes it possible for us to consider the deeper question: “who would I like to be?” That question is rarely answered with one great solution; it comes with small choices.

This year I’ll be asking myself that question again: who do I want to be? then I’ll be looking for small ways to be it.

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