What Do You Want?

This week the Shawn-God Red Letter Moments thought train had many stops but ended up pulling into the best station possible.

Tuesday morning, I was standing at the coffee maker asking God what He wanted me to talk about in the men’s group that I lead. Most of the time, we have a curriculum to walk through. However, it was one of those weeks where we were open to other topics. So I said, “Hey, Lord, what would you like me to talk about today?” 

And He asked, “What do you want?”

I told Him frankly that I wanted to go back to bed, and as I was chuckling at my joke, I realized I was pulling the leg of the Creator of a universe and that He was serious. He wanted me to ask that question to my guys.

As I drove to the group, I remembered the story in the Bible where Jesus asked somebody, “what do you want” and so I Googled it and quickly found the passage, and it’s when Jesus was talking to a blind man named Bartimaeus. 

Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” They called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:46-52)

So let me ask you this? If one of Jesus’ best friends grabbed hold of you excitedly and brought you to the feet of King Jesus and He asked you, “What do you want?” Would you know? Would you be too starstruck to talk?

I haven’t met many famous people, but I have a unique story about meeting Larry Bird in 2002. Larry Bird was a predominant basketball player in the 80s that played for the Boston Celtics. As an Irish lad in the north, you couldn’t help but cheer for the Celtics. So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that Mr. Bird was in the banquet room of a wedding that I was working with catering staff.

I distractedly loaded up my tray with used glasses from around the room and kept my eyes peeled for “The Great White Hope.” I never saw him, or should I say I never saw him coming. I turned around after grabbing one more glass and ran smack into my iconic hero. Let me just say that guy is tall, and I am not. So when I say I ran right into him, I should clarify that my head ran into his thigh. 

As I stared straight up at this legend, all I could say was I’m sorry, and all he could say was, “Do you know where the bathrooms are?” Instead of telling him all the fanboy things at that moment or even walking him to the bathroom with excellent service, I just stared up at him and the ceiling pointing silently in the direction of the bathrooms.

It’s a funny story, but in all honesty, I got nothing from our interaction, and there was no autograph or even dialogue. Even now, looking back, I can’t say that I knew what I wanted to say if he had talked to me.

I told this tale to my brothers and then asked them if they had just one moment with Jesus would they know what they wanted? We had many good answers that morning. Transparent and true answers that don’t need to be shared here. Except for one that I think was the closest to being the “right” answer. My friend Josh said, “I want to know who Jesus says I am. I want to know my true identity. Not the one that I have cultivated over 30+ years. I want to know the name and identity God calls me and calls me into.”

Let me ask you the same question. Do you know what you would ask if you were one-on-one with Jesus? Would identity be on the top of the list? Or do you need healing of any kind? Or would you ask deep philosophical questions about creation or why dinosaurs are not in the Bible? 

Whatever you want to know, He is with you and waiting. He has the perfect answer for you, and it only requires that you ask.

We will get through this together!

In His service and at yours!


Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

3 thoughts on “What Do You Want?

  1. Thank you once again, for opening our minds. In all honesty, I can’t give an answer at this moment as to what I would ask Jesus. I have to filter through many asks, and come to the one that would be most telling, as to who I am as His child.


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