What do you really desire? In the words of the Spice Girls (yes, you did read that correctly);
Tell me what you want What you really really want
It is a question I was thinking about today, as I looked at a story in Matthew’s Gospel about a rich young man. Matthew tells how a rich man approached Jesus and asks him what he must do to get eternal life. Jesus gives the obvious answer, any of his Jewish listeners at the time would have expected to hear him say it. Keep the law.
Jesus doesn’t leave it at that point. In fact, he takes it one step further. He challenges the young man about what it is that he really desires. Jesus tells him;
“sell everything you have, give to the poor and come, follow me”
As I read and re-read the passage (Matthew 19 vs. 16 – 22), my guide said something that really challenged me;
We are often so busy that we forget, or sometimes don’t even think to ask, what our deepest desires are. What are your deepest desires?
It is a challenging and powerful question and, if you approach it honestly, some of the answers you come up with (okay, truthfully, some of the answers I came up with) are not always what we would want other people to know! Sometimes, we don’t really know what our deepest desires truly are.
I tried to imagine the Biblical scene, and I listened to my own reactions in it. I imagined the young man who, on the surface, seemed to be successful, was living the right way and had it all together and yet, beneath the surface, was a different story. Perhaps, I thought, that is true of all of us.
Doing is always more straightforward than being.
We can hide from others what we are really like behind a mask of activity, busy-ness and doing. Hiding what we are really like from God and ourselves is not so easy. God knows and we know (if we are honest) what is really going on within.
I believe that God wants to us live in a real, honest relationship with him. That is why I am convinced that God is more concerned with our being rather than our doing. Our doing should flow from our being. Our being does not always flow from our doing.
So where did all this get me? (apart from my rather poor rendition of the Spice Girls in the office – you would have to have been there!!!)
It led me to a verse that has been coming back to me time and again. It is found in the book of Psalms;
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
(Psalm 42 vs. 7)
For me, these words speak about God calling us to go deeper into him. Deeper relationship, deeper dwelling, deeper knowledge and a deeper life. But, how deep I actually go, depends on what my deepest desires are and my willingness to lay aside all that would stop me from going deeper.
What are your deepest desires?