“What are you seeking?”

Genesis 37:15 He [Joseph] came to Shechem, and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?”

The Search

I searched along a dusty road
Not knowing what I’d find.
I met a farmer, old and gray
And asked him if he knew.
He raised his head and spoke through age,
“Look to your heart and you will find what it is you’re seeking.”

I searched along a highway.
Tall buildings hiding what I looked for.
I saw a man who taught in schools of ivy
And asked him if he knew.
He turned and looked through eyes dark and deep,
“Look to your mind and you will find what it is you’re seeking.”

I wandered on, puzzled as to meaning.
Heart or mind?  Just what was I seeking!

I searched along a gentle stream
In the middle of a meadow
“Both heart and mind”, a voice called out,
A voice both young and old
I turned to see a man of years
Yet one that was not worn.
“Give from your heart love and hope,
With knowledge and understanding.
For in giving to others you will find
That which you are seeking.”

Ruth Thompson-Jewell, Written about 1980, ©August 15, 2011

I wrote this at time when I was doing a lot soul searching and not quite sure what I’d find.  I never once thought my journey would last quite so long or take me to places I couldn’t have imagined.  Since this poem was written I’ve passed through some dark tunnels only to come out into the sunlight. 

At the time I thought I would never survive and that my journey was taking an awfully long time to complete, so long that I even considered shortening it.  But now as I look back my time in the dark was really quite brief, and while the challenges seemed overwhelming at the moment, the perspective of time and space has given me a new place from which to view my past.  I remembered this poem as I listened to the sermon last Sunday (August 14, 2011) given by Pastor Laurie.  She highlighted this verse from Genesis where an old man asks Joseph what he was seeking and then Laurie asks us what we were seeking. 

In fact we all are seeking for something and each of us believe our journeys are so unique that no one will ever understand them.  I think in reality all our journeys have many similarities and if we were to share them we just might find what we are searching for in the first place, and a whole lot quicker. My journey continues and it is unique for who I am, but as I listen to others who are willing to share their journeys similarities that lead me to answers to questions I’ve asked and new questions that open new doors.  Doors that are leading into rooms and onto paths I never would have foreseen in a million years in 1980!  I have also discovered my journey is not as unique as I thought which is really quite comforting.

It is the last two lines of the poem that I now find the most interesting, isn’t that what Jesus taught?  Giving from the heart, loving and caring for my neighbor, isn’t that the Gospel message Jesus worked so hard and died for.  Over the last couple of years I’ve begun to question just how much I give from my heart, how much more can I give and how do invite others to do the same. These are questions I can’t answer and maybe never will.  There are so many questions, so many doors to open within my heart and in the hearts of others.  Will I, will we, ever be able to open them all?

Ruth Jewell, ©August 15, 2011

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