Do you want to be well?
Persistent worries, we’ve all got persistent worries, haven’t we?
Apparently, there is a place to which you can go to, to escape your worries. It’s called Haystacks, and as the guide book writer Wainwright states, “For a man trying to get persistent worry out of his mind, the top of Haystacks is a wonderful cure.”
Unfortunately, I’ve not climbed that mountain, so I can’t verify if it’s true! As Julia Bradbury climbed it, she pondered what Wainwright had written, almost with a longing in her voice, as if she thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where worries disappeared.
So you would think, if we had the opportunity for such a cure, or for a worry free life, we’d jump at the opportunity. We’d snap it up. Wouldn’t we?
Jesus encountered a man beside a pool—a pool that was meant to have healing qualities. This guy, among a great number of people, was paralysed. Whenever the opportunity came to get into the pool, he was the last one up, and a frustrated bystander as others sloshed into the pool before him, to avail themselves of its healing potential.
Jesus asked this man, “Do you want to get well?” Or to put it another way, ‘Do you want your life back?’ And I’m waiting for a ‘Yes’, for some enthusiasm, for a response.
What is remarkable is that this man hardly lifts his eyes
Instead, he talks about the pool; how he is frustrated in his efforts to get in there. His eyes are fixed on it, his hopes are pool sized, his look is captivated by this bowl of water and what it might bring.
But, it’s a no hoper. He has lain by that pool for some time, his paralysis has been with him for years, but still, he is fixated with something that is not giving him his life back. Which makes me think, as I look at our world, how many of us have our eyes fixed on no-hopers? What is worse, how many of us are content with that sort of a life?
Sometimes we are so fixated with something that even if we heard Jesus asking us if we wanted to be well, we’d not take a second look. We already have an idea where life can be found and even it it’s proved to be unproductive, and unrewarding, still we keep our eyes firmly on it, ever hopeful, but never satisfied.
So, what are your eyes fixed on?
What stops you looking for life, where perhaps worries diminish or disappear, or where hope replaces despair? Do you want to be well and enjoy a reality instead of pursuing dissatisfying dreams?
We know, I think, that the top of a mountain isn’t a place to lose your worries. Or at least, having walked away from the top they will return again! However, do we realise the potential of a man like Jesus, who asks us if we want to be well; who suggests a life different, and greater, than the one we have, where hopes are realised, where there is life.
Or will we keep our eyes fixed elsewhere, and allow life to elude us because, quite honestly, we are more comfortable with our sickness.