Desire has been on my mind a lot lately. Sounds sexy, doesn’t it? I’ve been thinking about my ravenous appetite for more – more love, more feeling, more stuff. Instead of sexy, it’s actually disgusting because if I am honest with myself, as soon as one of these needs is satisfied, another one takes its place.
We have been working in steps to decorate our living room, adding a new item here and there and trying to make the space reflect us better. There is a plan of how we want it to look by spring, and really there is no hurry. But whenever we buy something for the room, I instantly start to think about and shop for the next item.
I may have found a way to put some controls around this behavior of mine. I still allow myself to shop and plan for the next item, but I don’t buy it when I find ‘it’, at least not for a few weeks or longer. This accomplishes a couple of things for me; it gives me the opportunity to appreciate what we have just added most recently, and it allows time to be certain this is what I want to do next. If I don’t do this, I feel sure that I will become quickly dissatisfied with the changes and keep looking for more. I know this because I know my history.
Is it sinful to feel these intense yearnings? God gave us desire, and He is neither surprised nor threatened by it. He wants us to turn away from the cheap trinkets that sparkle but never satisfy and to deeply desire a real relationship with Him. Society leads us to believe that desire is a natural part of our animalistic tendencies, and that we have little or no control. I want to believe that there is more to me than that, and that I can choose how I will respond.
“If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desire not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, we are like ignorant children who want to continue making mud pies in a slum because we cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a vacation at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis