Life is never stagnant. It moves us, even without our consent. But where are you going? What are you looking for? This video brings these questions, deeply rooted in our hearts, again to the surface.
This video reminded me of the countless times in my life where I felt like I had worked really hard for a goal and I always had the same experience when I made it, “That’s it?”
Whether it was getting into college or making the next soccer team, I found myself asking,”Isn’t this supposed to be everything I was looking for? Isn’t all of my hard work supposed to pay off in happiness?”
The dissatisfaction I always feel just leads to more goal setting and more busyness that I constantly think, “I’ll live after I reach this point. I’ll rest after all of these tests. I’ll be satisfied after school when I have a good job and my life is in order”.
But Jesus recognizes this longing and searching in our hearts.
In John 1:38 He turns around and asks the people following Him, “What are you looking for?” His gaze goes to the center of our hearts, awakening our most intimate desire: to know Him. He brings forth these questions and “it’s almost like we’re put on this planet to find the answers”.
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It’s hard to talk about these questions today. Not even with just young people – with everyone. But I always find that sometimes people just need an invitation to open up and recognize the searching in their own hearts. Here are three ways to give this invitation.
1. Ask questions. Jesus began with asking us a question. He invited us to recognize a searching in our hearts instead of pointing out that it was there. He is gentle, so we must be too. Asking others what their goals are, dream job is, and what brings them joy begins this conversation.
2. Accompaniment, walk the journey together. In my own life I have found that the most beautiful friendships are those of true accompaniment. The most fruitful conversations are those that allow two- sided discovery instead of one-sided knowledge. Though we are all at different stages in our journey, we are all searching, we are all going somewhere, and this is a journey we must take together.
3. Share your personal experience. God is in our reality. He is in our everyday lives and in every moment whether we can recognize Him or not. Sharing our experience with others helps people to recognize God in their own lives. It reminds us all that God is not an abstract idea, He is here…. now.
I will leave you with St. John Paul II’s beautiful words to our youth at World Youth Day.