‘ . . . how we answer this question of desire determines what our next right step will be. Make no mistake — denying your desire is also an answer, and that will determine your next step too. If you don’t take the time to admit what you most long for, decisions will still need to be made.”- Emily P. Freeman
In Chapter 8 (“Know What You Want More?) of The Next Right Thing, Emily P. Freeman stresses the need to step forward in self-awareness. Otherwise, you base your decisions on outward factors like expectations, habits, or other types of external pressure.
Next, Emily asks us to pay close attention to Jesus as Mark 10 relates a pivotal moment in the life of Bartimaeus. When Jesus heard the blind man’s cry for help, the side of the road took center stage. Thus, what the crowd surrounding Jesus considered a footnote Jesus made a headline.
Most noteworthy, Emily observes, Jesus didn’t give Bartimaeus a Bible verse, lesson, or lecture. Nor did Jesus chastise him or shame him. Instead, Jesus asked the blind man a question: What do you want me to do for you? In her book Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton explains:
“Jesus routinely asked people questions that helped them to get in touch with their desire and name it in his presence . . . . He often brought focus and clarity to his interactions with those who were spiritually hungry by asking them, “What do you want me to do for you?’ ”
Furthermore, the author exhorts, notice Bartimaeus’ response. In all his vulnerability and neediness, with desire written all over his face, the blind man offered a straightforward response: “I want to regain my sight” (Mark 10:51).
And that’s exactly what happened!
Today’s question: How do you answer this question of desire? What do you want Jesus to do for you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: Toxic desire – our terms and our timing”