From My Bookshelf – Day 34

Why are we so embarrassed by our desire? Why do we pretend that we’re doing fine, thank you, that we don’t need a thing? The persistent widow wasn’t too proud to seek help. Neither was the psalmist. Their humility allowed them to express their desire. How little we come to God with what really matters to us. How rare it is that we even admit it to ourselves. “Is there dessert?” We don’t pray like Jesus because we don’t allow ourselves to be nearly so alive. We don’t allow ourselves to feel how desperate our situation truly is. We sense that our desire will undo us if we let it rise up in all its fullness. Wouldn’t it be better to bury the disappointment and the yearning and just get on with life? As Larry Crabb has pointed out, pretending seems a much more reliable road to Christian maturity. The only price we pay is a loss of soul, of communion with God, a loss of direction, and a loss of hope. 

Without a deep and burning desire of our own, we will be ruled by the desires of others. 

The damage, of course, is a life lost unto itself. Millions of souls drifting through life, without an inner compass to give them direction. They take their cues from others and live out scripts from someone else’s life. It’s a high price to pay. Too high. 

John Eldredge — The Journey of Desire (pp. 61-63)

At some point during the conditioning of our upbringing, we were taught that our desire can’t be trusted.

We were taught that our desire should be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, as a result of not trusting our deepest desires, we turned into a generation that has lost its way. We became wrapped up in living a story that was chosen for us by someone else.

We go through our adult lives on autopilot, shoving our desires down as deep as we can so hopefully they won’t rise to the surface anytime soon. The carrot of a prosperous and comfortable retirement helps keep our desires even further off our radar.

Every conversation we have with someone who has already sold their soul to another’s desires for their life is exactly the same: play it safe, at least work there until you’re 50 so you can retire, think about your future, don’t chase your dreams and give up on your stability, etc. 

I have reached a time in my life where my desires for my future are 100% mine. I am no longer ruled by the desires of others. I now have a deep and burning desire of my own. That desire guides my life and the decisions I now make without even so much as a thought. I don’t worry about what everyone else thinks anymore—my decisions are tied to my desires and I know my desires are pure.

Why are we so embarrassed by our desire? Could it be that our conditioning has taught us to have false-desires instead of genuine ones? Striving to have a certain number in your 401k, driving the latest Volvo, having the newest phone, watching the latest hit show every week—these are not genuine desires that will invigorate our hearts and cause us to jump out of bed in the morning.

One thing I have learned about desire—when I first set out to understand what I truly desired, I had no idea the journey it would take me on.

My desires are inherently good and so are yours. What do you desire? Life is too short anyway. Don’t take your cues from others and live out scripts from someone else’s life.

Have a blessed day.

Peace and Love,

~Travis

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