I Want That!!! (Or Do I?)

Mike Charleston

About thirty years ago there lived a young man who had given his life over to the “hippie movement”. He had no desire for God or to walk after the Lord. But, his life and desires were about to change. When the gospel went out this “young hippie” believed and received it with joy. There were some problems for the “young hippie” though. He was still who he was. He still had the long hair, the “far out” clothes, and so on. He knew that those were not salvation issues, but he knew that was not what he was to act like. Then the young christian and his wife started to have children. They were so excited to raise up a godly seed to the Lord. But, how? Neither his wife, nor he were raised in a godly household. So where was a good example to show them? He later was in contact with a godly family, with lots of children. He was invited to go and visit this family and he was eager to learn from one that had been doing it the right way for a while.

The day came for his visitation, and he was not disappointed with the visit. The man’s children came out to greet him with smiles on their faces. They all listened to their father and obeyed when told to do something. They were quoting Scripture and singing with joy. The girls all had cute dresses on and the boys looked nice also. This family had all this, plus they lived on a farm in the country. The young man was amazed that such a family existed.

On the way home from spending the day with this family, he turned to his wife and shouted, “I WANT THAT”. That godly family gave the young man a vision for what a family ought to be. After seeing what he wanted his family to be like, he started to try some things. Because families are different, not everything he saw in that family worked the same in his family. But, he accomplished what he set out to do, having a godly family.

Not a serious desire

Just because you want something, does not mean that you get it. If the young man in the story got home after stating what he wanted, and then did absolutely nothing to meet that end, he obviously did not want it. We have to make choices in this world, which exclude other choices by the very nature of choices. For example, if I state that I want chocolate ice cream, and you tell me the wonders of vanilla, you are trying to persuade me to vanilla. I then choose vanilla because you made it sound good, but at the last moment I confirm my desire or want by changing back to the chocolate. The chocolate is really what I wanted, even though I said I wanted vanilla.

The vanilla is like a lot of things in this world. We walk through life saying, “I want this or that”, but we really have no desire to change or sacrifice something else in order to gain what I just confessed. In eating the vanilla, I would have had to sacrifice or replace the chocolate. That is where most people disconnect from what they claim they want. They would have to make a change that is against their desires, so they merely have wishes.

Then our wants turn into wishes because we are not willing to make changes or sacrifices we wish we could. We begin to make excuses in why we can’t accomplish what we wanted to do. “I wish I could be more disciplined”, we would say. In doing so we would be pushing the blame away from ourselves and becoming the victim, and hope our friends and family would sympathize with our plight.

Inadequate for the job

Now, let’s assume that we are not going to make excuses and be a wisher, but we are going to go on accomplishing our task. Let’s also assume that what we are desiring is from the Lord, like raising godly children. If our “want” is truly from the Lord, then it will not be a heavy burden weighing us down where we feel inadequate for the job. If you feel inadequate or insecure, then you are probably trying to be accepted by others that are doing what you want to do. You are like the one choosing vanilla ice cream, you’ve been persuaded, but not quite all the way. You still want the chocolate deep inside.

If it is something you truly want, then you will go to any extent to reach your goal. You won’t care about your “feelings” of inadequacy, and you shouldn’t. The goal is what is energizing. The reaching for, the struggle to attain will wash any of those feelings away. If you let those “feelings” get the better of you then you did not want the goal more than you wanted feelings. You were persuaded by someone with something good, but you didn’t want to welcome the change that was necessary to attain the goal.

The best place to be is when you want something and have no way to accomplish the goal. You say that is crazy, that is why I feel inadequate. True, if you stay where you are. But, the best way to not feel inadequate is to stop thinking about it and enjoy the process of life. Life is the living of it, the minute by minute, day by day living of life. While there is life, there is happiness. Life is what you make of it. If you “feel” inadequate about what you want to accomplish, then by goodness sake, change. If it is something you want to do, then take pleasure in the process of learning, trying, experimenting, failing, and accomplishing.

To want something is to live life. Want by the very nature of the word means something that you do not possess. What excitement to want something. That means a new adventure, a hope for a better tomorrow, to attain something that I had not done before. If you don’t like that, then you do not like life. I say that someone with the feelings of inadequacy or insecurity does not have that joy and excitement in their life.

No excuses

Now, there is no excuse to accomplish what we believe God has given us to do. God gives us a “want” and then it is up to us to be persuaded and want His want more than what we have been doing up till now. If it is a godly home, holy lifestyle, or something simple like gardening skills that we want, then with patience we wait for the hope. By patience, I mean the seeking, searching, learning, doing, living, the building of character in your life. If you want something, then there should be joy of the process, not full of complaining, or feelings of inadequacy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. It is His desires that we have, so therefore His desires are joyful.

If the christian life is what you want, then go after it with fervency of spirit. Live the life moment by moment, enjoying the life God has given to you. Live with the hope that your character is being made into an overcomer. If you are unhappy or dissatisfied about what you are doing, then change. Or, ask yourself, and be honest, is this really what I want. If it isn’t what you want then stop playing the charade.

Mike Charleston
Mike Charleston