Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What Do We Really Want?

…the desire of our soul is to thy name
(Isaiah 26:8)

What do you want in this life? Or, what do you want out of this life? What are your ultimate desires? Fame, fortune, power? Or maybe we should ask what do you want to do with your life? Or where do you want to go? Most have thought of these things at one time or another.

Well, what if you could have whatever it is that you wanted? No, really, if you could have anything, what would it be? Money, fame, power, position, immortality, irresistible appeal to the opposite sex, perfect love, whatever your heart desired, whatever it was that stirred your soul; what if you could have it all? Would you want the same things that someone else wanted?

The truth is, we all want the exact same three things, and anything that we wanted would fall under one or more of these three categories. The particulars about what we think will give us these things are what separates our desires on the surface, but they are the same in essence nonetheless. The only three things that people really want are safety, satisfaction, and rest. Perhaps they would be better delineated as security, fulfillment, and peace. Whatever the case may be, everything we long for is summed up in these three things.

For example, if we want money, it is for a sense of security, or perhaps a feeling of satisfaction as well. If we want fame it would be for satisfaction, if we wanted perfect children it would be for a sense of peace. If we desired power, it would bring us security we might believe, and a sense of fulfillment, and perhaps rest, if we had ultimate power. If we wanted irresistible appeal, it would be for security, rest, and satisfaction to a degree for all. You might try and counter by saying that you don’t want or need much, just enough to get by, but of course that is enough to give you a sense of peace, or satisfaction; see what I mean?

We could go on and on about this. But lets look at why we fail to achieve these three things and how we go about falsely pursuing them with things that can never meet our desires. We seek out temporal means of obtaining the eternal desires of our soul, things that can only lead to more needs and less actual satisfaction, safety, and peace. Most would agree that the reason many of us medicate ourselves with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, or any number of addictions is because we are not having our needs met in one of these areas.

The astronomic rise of stress, even in affluent America, and even among the well to do, with the meteoric rise of self help books and prescription and over the counter stress medicines for depression attest to the fact that we are losing the battle for the passions of our soul. Even those professional athletes or entertainers with all of their monetary wealth and fame often blaze out of control in their epicurean madness, endlessly searching for that latest thrill that will keep them on the emotional redline of soulish release. They have enough to keep discovering that they can never get enough. The ones who don’t have the cash flow or ego stroking, or who don’t then medicate their misery often give up and commit what I would like to call “stoicide” by surrendering to the “grin and bear it” life.

So we have three types, basically; the ones who have stuff but realize, often too late, that “stuff ain’t enough”; the others who “medicate to placate” their misery; and the realists who keep a stiff upper lip, as it were. Everyone is striving for God, but not the real God, only a god of our imagining: both the quest for beauty and the quest for truth are quests for God, and the quest for a scientific “unified theory” is the same thing. We want to be god, and we cannot fathom grace, as it truly is, that there is a Creator, and He can be known. All we want to know is things about His creation, yet we can know Him. God is willing to bring us into fellowship with Himself, and yet we play around with lesser things.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to try again....this will be my 4th attempt!

The current commentary is way over my head...I'm sure that my comments would be of little value. I will say that I've enjoyed reading the dialogue and am trying to understand/process/digest it the best I can. I've always found it helpful to know a person's point of reference/motivation when trying to understand what they're saying. So I must confess, Even So, that I was comforted a bit to know that you're known as a "radically conservative radical fundamentalist". :) I hope that doesn't offend you Exist....

Exist-Dissolve said...


LoL, not at all!