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What do you want?

It’s a question I think I hear more in chick flicks than in church. I think specifically of Ryan Gosling in The Notebook yelling, “What. Do. You. Want?” at Rachel McAdams. 

Aside from Ryan Gosling, another man who asked this question was Jesus. There’s this story in Mark 10, where a blind man yells at Jesus from the side of the road. Imagine it--Jesus is walking along in this huge crowd of people who literally believe He is the Son of God. He’s a pretty big deal. Some random blind beggar from the side of the road yells out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The disciples, forever trying to be Jesus’ bodyguards, try to silence the man. He refuses and continues yelling. Jesus approaches the beggar and says, “What do you want?”

It’s such a simple question. But asked by an important person at an important time, it becomes a question with a lot of depth. 

How do you imagine Jesus asking this question? Does He ask it in a light and airy, hippie Jesus kind of way? Does He ask with the intensity of Ryan Gosling? Does He ask it like a loving father talking to his children? Or perhaps like an annoyed mother? 

Of course we’ll never know. But the way that you imagine Jesus asking this question probably reveals a lot about your perception of Him and your interaction with this question.

I don’t know about you, but I often dread being asked what I want. Growing up in church communities, I often felt like what I want didn’t (or shouldn’t) matter. I’m supposed to die to myself to follow God. Even among the general public we find people emphasizing gratitude and always appreciating what you have. Of course all of this is really good, but sometimes we diminish the importance of desires with these attitudes. 

Our deepest desires are some of the truest parts of who we are. I think that’s a part of why they scare us. Often our desires get at that authentic, true self that I talked about last time. 

Back in Mark 10, the blind beggar answers Jesus, saying he would like his sight back. Of course! His needs and wants were obvious to everyone walking by, but Jesus still gave him the dignity of voicing what he wanted from the Son of David. 

So what do you want? Your deepest desires may not be as obvious as that beggar’s. You probably have your basic needs met. Sometimes it takes some time to figure out what we really want. So go ahead - take some time to write down everything you want--whatever it may be. Try for a list of 50 or 100 things. Trust me. It’ll be good for you. Consider what these desires might be revealing about your deeper self. Then take some time and imagine Jesus asking you this pivotal question, “What do you want?” 

How do you hear it from Him? 

How do you want to respond to Him? 

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