Yesterday was a hellish montage of pain and searching.
Four doses of migraine medication (different kinds, don’t worry). Writhing. Skull pounding. Hair clutching. Heart rending.
For several days now, God’s been stripping me of deceitful desires, exposing the siren voices that have been slow-dancing my life off course for a couple of years. He pulled the plug on my “Big D” Desire, my core motivation: To be wonderful. It’s a stench to me now.
The problem was, nothing rushed in to take it’s place. I sort of expected the clouds to part and serve me a new Desire, complete with heavenly choirs getting their game on while handing out free high fives and halos for all the children under eight. And fruit popsicles. Lots of fruit popsicles.
But there was nothing. In fact, God stopped asking me what I wanted after he exposed my corrupted Big D Desire. So I started asking myself. It felt like the right thing to do. But I couldn’t think of a thing. Oh, I could think of stuff I was supposed to want, but “ought to” is never the point.
Yesterday afternoon, after head-butting that blank wall for a few days, I chose a different path.
“Lord, what do you want? Whatever it is, I want it too.” And I really did.
But again, the clouds didn’t part and serve me a new Desire, complete with heavenly choirs getting their game on while handing out free high fives and halos for all the children under eight. Once again, there were no fruit popsicles. At all.
There was, however, a peace. And a realization that perhaps this wasn’t a one time deal, but rather an invitation to inject me with heavenly heart on a moment-by-moment basis. That God might want one thing one day, and another the next. That right then, God had already gotten what he wanted out of me.
You know what? “What Would Jesus Do?” is a noble question, but it’s a shallow one. Behaviour has and never will be the Holy Grail. Even if I could do what Jesus would do, I might do it like a Pharisee would—an obligatory “mutterance” with my heart in the wrong place. And without love, without my heart in the right place, the work would be worthless anyway. A much better question is, What Would Jesus Want? What desires and passions would be pumping through his veins, if he were in my shoes?
But wait: He is in my shoes. He lives in me, in my heart—the sacred womb where Desires both big and small are formed and nurtured. You know, I’ve prayed for years: Lord, help me to see what you see, hear what you hear. I’ll still pray those prayers. But I’m going to add a new one:
Lord, what do you want right now? Help me to want what you want. I want to be gripped with your passion for what you’ve put in front of me.
That, maybe, is becoming my new Big D: To want what God wants. Which might just the whole point of this exercise.
Give or take.