Pringles, a Cracked Plastic Spoon, and the Desire of our Souls

A Star Wars Jabba-the-Hutt Lego set.

That was what set my brother-in-law on a quest that would end up with a costly broken lock on a car, and a big fat punishment for him.

When he was a kid, he desperately wanted that Star Wars Lego set. So, when he was pretty sure that his mom had actually gotten one and that it was hidden in the trunk of her car, he jammed a plastic spoon into the lock in an attempt to pop open that trunk, and get to his treasure. You can guess how that story ended.

What are you willing to do for something you really, really want?

Endure a crowded bus in Asia in humid weather with masses of humanity for 4 hours over bumpy, unfinished roads for some chips and a Coke?

Well, yes, I did. It was Diet Coke, after all, and those were not easily found.

We went to incredible lengths to get the things we wanted when we first arrived in Asia in the 90’s. We took trains to Beijing with empty suitcases, and then dragged those bags back, weighed down with mounds of cheese and sticks of butter. We asked our parents to spend ungodly amounts of money on shipping boxes of scented candles or tampons or Ranch flavored Doritos.

When you want something bad enough, it’s funny how your perspective changes. It’s amazing what you become willing to do in order to get it. Suddenly things we wish we could have or experience or do become things we think we need to have or experience or do.

What is it you desire? What do you want more than anything? What do you truly ache to have? I’m guessing your deepest longings are not for chips or candles or a Lego set.

Maybe you long for a friend or marriage or to get pregnant or a master’s degree. Maybe you ache to live near your family, or for relationships to be reconciled, or for support raising to not be so stinkin’ hard. Or, maybe right now you really do simply long for a jumbo size bag of Ranch Doritos.

I am a jumbled mess of desires. So often I am just full of sin and self, and my longings are all about me, and my comfort, and what I think would be best for my life. God pours out countless gifts, and yet I can so easily distort them and make them into “ultimate” things, as Tim Keller says, making them into things I think I can’t live without. We take God’s generous gifts and elevate them to a place they don’t deserve. We begin to desire the gifts more than the Giver.

I am constantly asking God to unpack my heart, and show me the root of my desires. I long to be like Isaiah who said, “Your name and your renown are the desires of our hearts” (Isaiah 26:8), but often I’m like the birds from the movie Finding Nemo who see what they want and incessantly cry out, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

And then I think about God and His desires. What does he long for? What does HE desire? What lengths would He go to get it?

That’s the incredible part of the story.

He desires us. He longs for us, His sheep, to simply walk with Him.

He desires all of His kids to be gathered around His great table for a feast that will never end.

He desires that death does not get the final word, and that we get safely HOME.

He desires that our tears be wiped away once and for all, and that we finally see Him face to face.

He desires His glory and His Name to be known – and that happens through us. I don’t think I can grasp how wide, and long, and high and deep is His love for me, especially when sometimes all that I desire is faster internet. He longs for us to be made whole, and for us to have sweet and perfect fellowship forever.

As I wait and wrestle and long for so many things, oh God, let my heart rest in the truth that what you desire is for us to be with you. You’re not longing for what I can produce for your Kingdom or how much I accomplish in my life, but you long for my heart.

A bumpy bus for hours to get some Pringles and a Diet Coke. A cracked plastic spoon in the trunk of a car. We will go to great lengths for what we desire.

How can I absorb the lengths You went to for us? You humbled yourself to the painful death of criminal to make the way for us to get home. Oh, what unbelievable love.

Let the truth of that great love and that perfect desire sink in deep to our hearts.

It’s kinda better than a Star Wars Lego set.

~~~

What desires do you find competing for “ultimate” status?

How has connecting with the truth of God’s love given you freedom from the power of your desires?

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Ashley Felder October 9, 2016

    This is good! I love what you/Tim said about making our desires “ultimates.” Who are we to make ultimatums with the Creator of all? We saw what trouble that got the Israelites! I’ll be pondering and asking for Him to reveal the true desires of my heart. For now, I’ll start with laying down the desire for a daily cuppa chai. 😉

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