It was just before Christmas when Diane posted the question on her Facebook page.
I knew she didn’t mean a new lens for my camera or my favourite indulgence soap…
or even some sweet, small trinket.
Diane thinks deeper than that. The question gave me pause.
What did I want? The truth was, I didn’t know. And if I didn’t know, who did?
After Christmas, I settled in to read my new book, Sacred Rhythms. It’s about spiritual transformation. About listening and seeking. Solitude and questioning. The first chapter asked me to name my truest desire. “How bad do you want it?”, the author asked. There it was again.
Can I share something? I’m surrounded by people who regularly ask themselves this question; people who themselves are surrounded by vision boards pasted with pink Cadillacs, beach umbrellas, bestsellers, designer houses and Monopoly money. People who practice the power of intention or visualization. I see most of this as surface stuff….the stuff of distraction.
But, I can count on one knuckle the number of times anyone has looked me straight in the eye and asked me, “What do you really want?” What is the need below the surface?
True Desire is an elusive thing. It’s not some pretty bauble-du-jour.
So, I sat with my question in the aloneness of the morning – morning after morning, actually – watching the sunlight slide from the tops of the trees, prodding beneath my answers, sifting through them, like the chickadees sorting through the seeds at the feeder. Looking for the hidden nugget of truth.
And when the answer didn’t come, I walked with the question. Through new fallen snow, along snowshoe tracks, past smooth fields and bristled trees, beneath bruised and smudged skies, the question followed me like my shadow.
Oh, it is easy to say, “I want to be a successful speaker and author.” But then the question arises…what must you say and where will you send your words? How do you define ‘success’?
“I want to spend more time with friends and family.” Really? That’s a choice, not a desire.
Or “I want my health.” If I gave you health, what would you do with it? Neglect it? Use it? Who would it serve?
Or “I want my grandson close by.” But it’s not enough, just to have him here. If he was, what difference could you make in his life? Is it for him, or is it for you?
This Desire…it’s not an easy thing to name. It’s the need beneath all the questions.
To know, really know, God.
To make some small or great difference.
Once I know this honest, true Desire, then I know in what direction I must turn my face.
Where to place my next step. It really must be the root of it all, you know.
What do you want? Truly.