The What and Who of Meandering About

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Reclaiming Words - "Desire"

For the next several weeks, we will take a look at some words that seem to have lost a part, if not all, of their meaning in our culture.  We will begin with a look at the dictionary definition of the word.  Then we will think through what it might mean to reclaim the word in our lives and as an important part of our journey of faith.

Let us begin with...
desire dəˈzī(ə)r 
n. A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.
v. Strongly wish for or want (something).

Desire is not something we talk a lot about in church.  Sometimes it even feels like an inappropriate word to speak or mention in a church setting. It seems as though any time it is spoken, or written about, it has some type of sexual undertone.  Even though desire can be a great way to explain our feelings in this area of our life, desire can and should mean so much more.  The word "desire" (like so many others) has been robbed of its complete meaning and therefore its power.  At its essence "desire" has the capacity to be a marvelous descriptor of the deepest part our life and the passions which drive us most.

Consider the deepest longings of your heart.  Not whether or not you want a roast beef sandwich right now or really wish that you could have the newest and finest luxury automobile.  Go deeper than that.  Think about the things that cause you to get emotional.  Think about the issues, topics, hopes, and dreams that occupy your daydreams.  These are some of your deepest desires.

So, with all of this in mind, what is it that you desire?

Take a moment to reread the definition of the word before you respond.
Grab a pen and paper.
Write down some of the things that come to mind when you think about how you would answer the question.

What is it that you desire?

Are you willing to take the sometimes difficult steps to walk toward that which you desire?
Are you willing to allow God to walk that path with you?

In Psalm 37, the psalmist writes,
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; 
      so you will live in the land, and enjoy security. 
4 Take delight in the Lord, 
      and the Lord will give you the desires of your heart. 
5Commit your way to the Lord; 
      trust in the Lord, and the Lord will act. 
6 The Lord will make your vindication shine like the light, 
      and the justice of your cause like the noonday. 
7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for the Lord; 
      do not fret over those who prosper in their way, 
          over those who carry out evil devices.

The psalmist speaks of a world in which those who do wrong and plot evil seem to prevail.  The psalmist speaks from the anger and anguish of witnessing this as it takes place.  In the midst of this comes the psalmist's message of hope.  "Take delight in the Lord, and the Lord will give you the desires of your heart."

Look around you.
Where is it that God is doing something amazing?
Where are the hungry fed?
Where are the sick being healed?
Where is the prisoner being visited?
Where are the lonely given hope?
Where is the Good News of God's steadfast love being proclaimed?

Things like this are happening all around us.  Join in.  Take delight in these things. God can be found there.  And then "wait patiently for the Lord" for the "Lord will give you the desires of your heart."

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