Apparently a significant part of living the resurrection life has to do with being able to recognize the Risen Jesus when he is standing right in front of us. (Luke 24:15-16) We are told that the travelers on the road to Emmaus were kept from recognizing him, but we are not told who, or what, kept them. Was it somehow Jesus himself that was hiding in the encounter until it was the right time to reveal himself? That’s a definite possibility. Or was it their circumstances, their distractions, or their own state of being that kept them from being able to tell it was Jesus? Who knows, maybe it was their own opinions, preferences, and agendas that kept them from being able to recognize his presence. Maybe they were so full of themselves that they had no room for Jesus; we are not told. All we know is that recognizing the Risen Jesus is essential to being able to enter into the resurrection life with him.
Wouldn’t it be great if somehow we were able to train ourselves to look for him and listen for him in every event, encounter, and conversation? My guess is that if we could actually do that we would see him and hear him much more often. And what we would see and hear would probably be much different from out preconceived thoughts and notions of what should happen in any given situation or circumstance. Only when we are truly open and truly free can we even begin to hear his voice, rather than our own, and to see his hand, rather than forcing ours.
Lord Jesus, help me to recognize you. Help me to be able to see you and hear you in the midst of all the circumstances and conversations that will fill my day. Help me to look for your hand and listen for your voice. Help me never to miss you because I was so preoccupied with my own thoughts, concerns, and insecurities. For only then can I hope to be a non-anxious presence in this anxious and fearful world.