departure boardDuring one of our weekly spirituality nights together, my wife Sarah and I reflected on John 1:35-42. In the passage Jesus walks by John and two disciples on the road and John points out to them that it is Jesus, so they follow him. Jesus notices this and asks them, “What are you looking for?” Their response: “Where are you staying?” — This was so profound to me. The very thing the disciples are looking for is Jesus!

Right now my wife and I are trying to figure out what’s next in our lives. As I will graduate soon from grad school I’m asking myself what specific job I’m going to find. Will we move? Where to? How will Sarah and I minister together? What’s our next destination? Basically — What are we looking for?

I’ve been on that road before, the same road traversed by the two disciples, but this time I’m not alone. Sarah is by my side, journeying and looking with me. We’re searching for what’s next. But what we’re really looking for is what the two disciples were really looking for: where Jesus was. After they stayed with him, Andrew, one of the disciples, went to tell his brother, “We have found the Messiah!” I imagine Sarah and me excitedly telling our friends and family, “We’ve found our destination!”

So when the disciples ask Jesus where he’s staying, they’re really asking, “Where will you be waiting for us?”

When I think about Jesus waiting for me I think of the times I’ve been on the road of discernment before. Sometimes I knew what was next, sometimes I didn’t. But each time I knew Jesus was waiting there for me, to greet me and to companion with me. And journeying on the road with me were the people who’ve formed me, who’ve taught me how to discern and pray. Along with the Spirit, they are offering gentle guidance as Sarah and I seek out what’s next.

In some sense, the specific destination doesn’t matter. The answers to all our questions don’t completely matter. What matters is the knowledge that Jesus is waiting for us at our next destination. That is the destination we ought to seek out. That is the question of discernment.

Jesus, where will you be waiting for me?

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Music by Kevin MacLeod