What are You Looking For?


The day after he baptized Jesus, John the Baptist was standing with two of his disciples. The two men looked at Jesus as he was walking away from them. Jesus turned and saw the two disciples of John following him and asked them a curious, but also profound question—“What are you after?” Or, we might say Jesus asked them, “What are you looking for?”

Jesus’ first words to these two men is a fundamental question in life. At that time of history, these men could have been religious zealots hoping Jesus was the man to lead them to overthrow the tyranny of the Romans. Or, they could have been Pharisees who were looking for conversations about the Law. They could have been political men hoping to use Jesus newfound popularity as a launching pad into the Roman political world. Jesus wanted to know their answer, and I suspect he wanted them to know for themselves.

Many years ago, just as I was beginning my career in publishing, I was listening to the speaker and writer Denis Waitley. In this segment of his teaching, he challenged us all to seek our own personal vision—our own answer to Jesus’ profound question. Waitley asked us to take time alone and discover what’s my aim and goal in life? What am I really trying to get out of life?

I pondered this question for several days, and suddenly, as I was eating lunch in our company’s break room, the answer came to me. Since books had so deeply affected my life and especially my life with Jesus Christ, my personal vision unfolded as easy as turning a page—my life vision, what I was looking for in life, was (and remains) to put life-changing materials into the hands of people who need them. Simple, straightforward and deeply impactful. 

What Jesus was trying to do was not just learn about these men, but to help them get focused on their mission and time with him. He wanted to be sure they were aligned with his God-given mission and he wanted them to develop the answer, not be handed something that didn’t come directly from their hearts.

Denis Waitley’s challenge did the same thing for me. He helped me cement in my mind a purpose that has been the guiding business and personal principle. Under God’s direction and path (Proverbs 3:4-6 is my life verse from the Bible), I spend every day working to fulfill this personal vision. I can end every day and ask myself, “What did you accomplish today that fulfilled your vision? Even when I’m completely distracted, or faced with trying circumstances, I can usually found something that helped push my vision forward.

So, let me as you—what are you looking for? What is God giving to you as a personal vision? What are you trying to get out of life?


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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