Unpublished: The First Thing I Ever Wanted

I'm largely stumped when it comes to plunging the mysteries of faith. I don't know what it is that enables one person to hold on to faith in the face of doubts where another person eventually walks away. I don't know why faith stays strong for some and evaporates for others. And I know of no secret or intervention that can change this outcome for any given person.

What keeps me holding onto faith? I think it is this.

For as long as I can remember I've been transfixed by the image of Jesus. I remember being a young boy and wanting, more than anything, to be like Jesus. I wanted to be fearless and kind, courageous and caring, strong and gentle, raging and forgiving. That's the first thing I ever wanted. And I've never stopped wanting it.

That primal desire and memory sits at the foundation of my faith. And it seems to me now that this is the reason I am able to sustain faith in the face of doubts that cripple so many others. I've never stopped wanting to be like Jesus.

--from an unpublished autobiographical post

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11 thoughts on “Unpublished: The First Thing I Ever Wanted”

  1. I've always wanted to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

  2. My legalistic past sustained me in nothing, except the excitement of being right as long as everything thing else was perfect. But when my mind and heart took the turn of seeing God in all, of seeing Christ, God's anointed, God's child, in each person I meet, then existence itself became Holy; the moment, its breath, became engulfed and indwelled by God.

  3. Then the general $64,000 question becomes, how does a child (at whatever young age) learn (or get taught) to WANT TO "more than anything, to be like Jesus." - Want to be "fearless and kind, courageous and caring, strong and gentle, raging and forgiving." This vs. the usual I want to play in the NBA, be a famous rock guitarist, president of the U.S, or simply have my just dad love me, be proud of me instead of angry with me. Anyway, just really curious. Thanks again Dr. Beck!

  4. I well remember the thought I had when I was baptized at 9 years old, 60 years ago-- I wanted to be like Jesus.
    Perhaps the traumatic life I was going through at that time had something do with it--can't help but believe it was His spirit guiding me. My thought was nowhere near "fearless and kind, courageous and caring, strong and gentle, raging and forgiving." Yet! I have "fallen off the wagon" more times than I can count; even so, have never lost sight of the path I need to be going, Jesus' light ever before me, and the ever present desire to be like Jesus.

    Thank you, Dr. Beck, for your most inspirational and thought provoking blogs which I read every morning--have also read your books. Thank you for all your extraordinary endeavors!

  5. I want to be like Jesus, even though I don't think I can and feel disadvangtaged lacking the God part of being human. I could/should probably try harder than I do. But is it still faith if I try/care about not becoming a jaded d-bag simply because I think Jesus is the definition of how to make the most out of really shitty human circumstances? I really dont think I will be winning any faith hall of fame awards or be a finalist for disciple of the decade nor do I claim moral superiority or insight....but is it still faith if its....IDK...a mediocre appraoch to dealing with being human and all the short comings that come with biology, sociology, and psychology?

  6. I am not a spring chicken and have been a Christian, one could say all my life. However, to be like Christ was not on the horizon for the most part of my life. Furthermore, I was scared to death, that I would never hear the words's "well done good and faithful servant". And yet I am still here, walking in faith, leaving fear behind, seeking and longing for home.

    Why? I would say it's the gentle call, that echoes across time and space: "Adam, Adam where are you".

  7. I think only Jesus could be Jesus. what does it mean to be 'in Christ'? what does it mean to be 'in the body of Christ'? what should that look like? what should that be like? look in the mirror that's what it's like!

  8. “It all means more than I can tell you. So you must not judge what I know by what I find words for.” Marilynne Robinson, Gilead. Sometimes I want to be like Jesus too. But most of the time I don't know what that means. I'm not sure that I know how to hold onto faith either, and I wonder what will happen when I can't anymore? Much obliged.

  9. for me Jesus meets me everyday exactly where I'm now at.
    it's up to him to maintain the relationship and he promises to do so.
    my faith has been tested numerous times thru killer depressions.
    he never leaves you never forsakes!
    there are times of drought when I feel there is no presents.
    I have come to know intuitively
    he's always there and never leaves.
    where would he go?
    wherever you are he's there I think!

  10. Where does the parable of the sower/seeds come into this for you? It's uncomfortable, but the mystery of perseverance, like Augustine, lays somewhere in God's Will, namely Christ's call of disciples. Many are called, but few are chosen. What saves us from arrogance is we have no understanding of God's view of these things except what He tells us, namely 'He wills save all men'. It is a strange mystery. Just like marriage, it's life-long covenant, except when it's not.

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