Zacchaeus. Edward Elric. If you are familiar with these names, then the first word that probably comes to your mind is “short”; but that’s not the only thing these two vertically-challenged characters have in common. Each one has a deep sense of longing that drives them in the direction of their goal. Throughout Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward’s one goal, which he continues towards no matter what, is getting his brother’s body back.
We see a similarly relentless drive in Zacchaeus. However he, unlike Edward, does not seem to know what his end goal is. He knows something is missing and he’ll do anything to get “it,” but the tax collector does not know on his own what he’s after or how to accomplish his goal. This longing he has eventually leads him to climb up a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus—not something wealthy businessmen are usually caught doing.
God has placed a longing inside all of us. Sometimes, like Edward, we know exactly where that longing will lead us, and our path or goal is clear. More often, our longing will be like that of Zacchaeus, and we won’t know what we are looking for until Jesus calls out to us. It may lead us somewhere undignified, like climbing up a tree. It may lead us somewhere uncomfortable, like a houseful of unexpected dinner guests. It will certainly lead us to a place of sacrifice and humility, but unless we follow wherever our spiritual longing is leading, then we will be forever unsatisfied.
Though we are small and unable to see where we are going, let that not hinder us from seeking God and his plan for us. And when that plan is finally revealed, let us respond as Zacchaeus did: “So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly” (Luke 19:6).
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