The man was lying curled up in the sun, like a pile of rags thrown there by accident. The man barely looked like a human, but those who crossed the door to get in and out of Jerusalem recognized him. As far as they can remember, this place was his. He was crippled, dropped off there every morning by a member of his family, and picked at the end of the day.
Since years, the pool of Bethesda was a real human museum: the lame, the blind, the deaf, the lepers, and so on, met there, as rumour claimed that an angel would sometimes stir the waters (nobody knew exactly when) and the first patient to get in was cured. A sort of lottery. And like all lotteries, desperate hope for a miracle. So in theory, the man was not alone.
But as no one had really spoken to him, long ago, he first thought the question was for someone else. Squinting into the sun, he did not recognize the face leaning over him. The cripple then asked him to repeat his question, perhaps he had misunderstood. If the voice was soft, the question seemed harsh, even cruel, “do you want to be healthy?” (John 5:1-9)
“What kind of question is that? What other purpose could I have spending every day of the last thirty-eight years lying here? He mocks me.” The man was accustomed to ridicule and suffered a lot of harassment. However, his vision was adjusted to the light, he could identified his interlocutor, and his eyes too. There was no trace of mockery in him. Obviously, this man takes his question seriously and expects an answer: “What do you want?”. Who would dare ask such a shocking question? JESUS! Obviously this man wanted to be healed. Not need to be God.
Really? Like most questions asked by Jesus, this one had a greater purpose than it seemed. Of course, Jesus knew the answer, but what about the man did he know It? All his life had been shaped by suffering. Every day, he had wanted only one thing. No question of wealth. No question of celebrity. NO, this man’s life was summed up in a simple but inaccessible DESIRE: WALK! So he was at this place for thirty-eight years, hoping to hit the jackpot.
Since when did he start to get discouraged? How long can we maintain our desire when disappointment is perpetual? Some resist longer than others, but ultimately, we all reach a state of resignation, cynicism or bitterness. Over the years, this man, as some of us, lost all vital link with the desire of his heart. He had given up his desire.
Asking him what he wanted, Jesus brought him into the secret of his own heart, to his deepest desire. Why? Because the desire must be our destination if we want to meet God.
It may be surprising, but Christianity is not an invitation to morality, or a program to conform to our society or to reform it. Christianity, essentially, begins with an invitation to desire. It has a powerful effect on our lives, but this transformation always start in your HEART!
“WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
I would like to say that time flies but no, I just want to scream: “POSITIVE TEMPERATURE PLEASE!” This country is incredibly cold with eternal winter pffff. Yes I know, it was to be expected, but you know what, even Edmonton natives don’t get used to this cold weather. Besides, they say that this year the winter is exceptionally hard … cool!
I do not know if this happens to you, but I feel that once I get to a new place, something different, unusual happens: good or bad pfff
The positive side: today it has been 12 days that I feel great. Total peace in my body and my mind, Hallelujah! Thank you dear friends for your support in prayer, we have a God who answers!
Is it a tradition for you to review the past year and make resolutions for the next one?
To tell the truth: for 4 years now, with my family, we decided to focus on the review of the past year. Resolutions are so hard to keep. Not necessarily because we do not want to, but because we simply don’t control so many of the events and situations that may or may not help their accomplishments.
A friend took the resolution to lose weight the following year and against all odds, she was expecting a baby, a source of extra Pounds!
A couple resolved to pay attention to their finances and start saving at the beginning of the new year, but then emergency: a health problem does not allow them to put a penny aside throughout the year.
A faithful person decided for the new year, to stop drinking alcohol and smoking. After two months, serious personal and family problems plunges him into a deep depression and he couldn’t hold his resolutions.
These examples sound depressing, aren’t they? Precisely, resolutions are certainly good but often they become a source of guilt, complex and self-pity when you can not keep them.
So, instead, I decided to focus on the review of the past year, positive or negative. This allows me to separate what my part is, what God expects from me, what I can change or improve or avoid. Then I set up principles which only I control, not the circumstances or people around me. Obviously, all this with the help of God!
Here are my 10 principles for 2014
- Stop saying or think negative things about my neighbor because I do not want anyone to do the same to me.
- Budget, select cheaper stores, wait for the sales, if possible, avoid credit cards … it isn’t the end of the world if I do not “shine” this year, as long as there’s life, there is the hope!
- Apologize and ask forgiveness from those I have hurt and forgive those who have hurt me. I may “get rid” of my enemies and not become their prisoner! So I avoid ulcers, depression and revenge!
- Accept me as I am (fat, thin, small, large …) and stop comparing myself to Celine Dion and ask around me (especially not my husband) if I gained weight or not. It prevents frustration, anxiety and phobia of the letters L, XL or XXL!
- Stop counting the number of “likes” on my pictures on Facebook or my blog or check who “likes” or doesn’t. If I like my picture enough to post it, that’s all that matters, right? Anxiety from social media is a waste of time.
- Resume and strengthen my relationships with friends, and members of my immediate, expanded and spiritual family, as much as it depends on me. I think that God has left us all on earth to be a blessing to one another. Life is too short and I hate regrets!
- Unconditionally love and help my neighbor in need. And as someone said: “no need posting a Facebook status about it!”
- Turn off my phone at the table. Children grow very quickly and soon I may not be at the center of their conversation!
- Cry when I’m happy or when I’m sad. BE AUTHENTIC, not what the world expects. No fear of being fragile. Pretending takes too much energy. Allow God to change me according to His standard!
- Be courageous. If I have convictions, I will speak up, act for and I will accept the consequences. “A bit of authenticity will make a better world!”
Well, I still have two days to extend my list …