Monday, 10 December 2012
Is wanting bad?
All desire is God-given. Our egos get in the way and tell us how that desire should be met, in the three dimensions available to us. Then we get fixated on those three-dimensional things, thinking it is the things we want, when they are only our egos' idea of how we should get what we want. So wanting is fine, but outlining how God is going to give that to us is not, because it gets us chasing after things that do not work and will not give us happiness anyway. Or health, or harmony, or love, joy, peace, or connection. For these seven experiences are ultimately what at least I am after, fail to recognise this as I do.
It is no good repressing desire and wants. They will not go away. Rather, we have to ask God how we can serve Him and others today, how we can use the skills and experience we have accumulated, how we can develop further, how we can give, and trust that, in so giving, we will be given the opportunities for situations and relationships in which the underlying desires and wants are met, typically in ways we had not anticipated.
It is like we want to be warm but we have been wearing fishnet stockings or string vests and missing the fur coats because we actually have no idea that fur coats will keep us warmer.
What God has in mind for us is luxury; what we have in mind for ourselves is explosive, bitter poverty that looks like luxury in the shop window.
Do we have to work in a soup kitchen in Ethiopia and knit for Jesus to be happy? If we are good at making soup, speak Amharic, have a collection of knitting needles, and already love Jesus, then, possibly, yes.
However, I have always been taught in AA to grow where I am planted and have figured that a normal life of love, work, and play is likely to be precisely what God wills for me.
The only way to find God's will is to exercise a little vision in Step Eleven and choose from the available three-dimensional-world options for the next move in each area of my life.
Progress is not linear, and going from A to B involves travelling through a lot of unfamiliar letters, including J, L, Z, and occasionally Ж and Я. This can be challenging, disconcerting, and frustrating. But if I hold back on outlining (fixating on the means rather than the end and becoming rigid about attachment to things of the world), the promised land eventually comes into view, in the rear-view mirror, as my everyday life is endowed with qualities I hitherto believed would reside only in extraordinary circumstances.
In other words: trust God, choose as best I can from the available options each day, and keep talking, to scoop the water out of the bottom of the leaky boat. And, until God's will is revealed and the trumpets blast to herald the arrival of the new life, some people find knitting really helps.