As someone who has started to experience the, “why did I come into this room” phenomenon more frequently than I care to admit, I feel I am becoming an expert at answering the question, “What are you looking for?” With each passing year I find myself in one room or another staring blankly wondering why I am visiting this part of the house. It is not just the frequency of these confusing moments that have increased with age, it is also the inability to stop myself from asking out loud, “What are you looking for?”
Talking to myself has caused confusion more than once.
“What did you say? Were you talking to me? Speak up, I can’t hear you.” These are the often repeated phrases in my house. Now that my wife is off work for the summer, I must remember to keep my inquires in my head where they belong or I will be forced to admit over and over again, “I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to myself.”
Even if I can keep my inquires in my head, I am left with the same issue, I have no idea what I am looking for. I feel silly walking all the way to another room only to have to turn around and go back to where I came from empty handed. I feel even sillier if I leave one room looking for something in another room only to realize that I can’t remember what I am looking for so I turn around to go back to the room I originally came from only to realize that I can’t remember which room I came from.
After years of following Christ I am still not sure what I am looking for.
I was labeled a seeker. I was looking for something more than purposeless living. I guess anyone whose life lacked a solid commitment as a follower of Christ received this label. Actually the label of seeker wasn’t around when I set out to find my purpose in life but by the time I embraced the life changing love of Jesus Christ and committed the rest of my life to following Him this new label was gaining traction in Christian circles.
Each new season of my life is like walking into a new room, I don’t know what I am looking for.
I like the seeker idea. It gives me a comfortable feeling because I have graduated. I was a seeker but now I am a follower of Christ. The problem is the comfortable feeling isn’t real. I am still seeking something more. I am not satisfied by a general sense of purpose. I want more than a “life is a waiting room for eternal life” mentality. I must be on this earth for something more. I do not feel complete because I follow Christ and yet I am not sure what I am looking for. All I know is I am still a seeker.
I know this goes against the feel good theology that most of us want to embrace but by following Christ I discover more of my incompleteness rather than feeling complete. In each new season there are new places to go, new situations to experience, new obstacles to overcome, new lessons to be learned and new areas of my life to place under His control. Every time I think I have it figured out, every time I think I know what I need in the next season based on what I have discovered in the last season, every time I enter a “new room” I realize, I don’t know what I am looking for.
Maybe I’m the only one left asking God, “What am I looking for?”
I pray that my sudden realization that I don’t know what I am looking for is a sign of me seeking to mature rather than a sign of immaturity. Maybe everyone else enters each new room, each new season already knowing why they are there. I guess I have to accept that I could be the only one who considers himself a seeker even though I am a follower of Christ.
Don’t get me wrong, my feeling of being incomplete is not an emptiness based on a lack of God’s provision or a fear of not being saved. My seeking isn’t a desperate desire to discover a step that I feel I missed so I can be saved or a need to find a missing work that will unlock some sort of blessing or prosperity I believe I am promised.
Every new room, every new season I ask myself, “What am I looking for?”
Unlike my everyday life forgetfulness, I haven’t forgotten why I entered that room because I have no idea why I am in that room in the first place. I have a general Idea, a basic understanding that my purpose as a Christ follower is to obediently live out God’s call, but I still have no idea what I am looking for, the specifics that God has laid out for me. I am always seeking:
God’s plan – Done God’s way – In God’s timing – With God’s chosen resources
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)