What do you want?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 20, 2013

To anyone else it might sound like random syllables strung together that form this almost-1-year-old’s singsong babble. To those who love her, my granddaughter Adeline is speaking. The translation depends upon the listener, but soon her skills will improve, and her thoughts will be loud and clear. (Emphasis on loud.) She will learn to combine syllables to form words, words to construct sentences and sentences to create conversations. Around this time, she will ask her first question. I wonder what it will be?
“Is it really against the law for me to leave the house without a bow on my head?” (Her mother’s motto is “the bigger the bow, the closer to God.”)
“Is there anything for me to eat?” (Adeline was the baby in the restaurant last week who spit out her pacifier when she saw a waitress approaching then cried as the waitress brought the food to another table.)
“Why can’t we just spend the day on the patio swing?” (Actually, that’s my question.)
This whole “first question” train of thought arrived as I read Jesus’ first recorded words in the gospel of John. After John introduced Him as the Lamb of God, Jesus turned to the two disciples who began to follow Him and asked, “What do you want?”
It’s not enough for me to follow Jesus. Outward actions look good, but isn’t it just like Jesus to want to get to the heart of the matter? He wants to know why. Why am I following Him? What’s my motivation? What do I want?
Like the beach ball left behind at the end of the day, those questions and more have been bobbing around in the sea of my thoughts. Do I follow Jesus out of habit? Is it because I was raised in church and it’s part of who I am? Am I in it for God’s stamp of approval, or more answered prayer?
Quite simply, I follow Jesus because I want to be more like Him. I want to learn forgiveness from the One Who sacrificed His life for my sins. I want to learn love from One Who lavishes so much on my life, and I want to learn peace from Jesus, Whose words smooth out the wrinkles in my soul.
Why do you follow Jesus? What do you want?
Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.