Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Desire (01/17/05)
TITLE: Desire - The Case of the Broken "Wannas"
By Al Boyce
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It kind of reminded me of a controversy not so long ago when a car company was using the slogan: "What would Jesus drive?"
I can only assume the Hummer driver was a Christian of sorts. Perhaps he was concerned about the End Times and was hedging his bets in case the Rapture leaves him behind and he needs to "monster truck" over the vacated carcasses of Honda Civics and Yugos to get supplies.
I don't want to single out luxury car owners when I say: "We've got a bad case of the broken wannas."
Desire is running amok. And we, as 21st century Americans with access to cable TV and the Internet, have an unprecedented trough into which we can immerse our porcine snouts.
It's no longer enough to have a nice car and a big house. Today we are prompted to pharmaceutically enhance our sex lives, to jump start our gastrointestinal systems, nip-tuck our receding hairlines and bulging buttocks.
Where once Monday Night Football was escape enough, now we steep in "reality" TV.
We dip our low-carb french fries in purple catsup.
The Streetcar Named Desire has become the Titanic ... and it's name is Legion.
We might wish this was isolated to (or concentrated among) non-Christians. After all, the Bible tells us quite clear in Luke 12:33-34: "Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
But many Christians have literally bought into gluttony with the rationalization that God has given them these possessions; that, in fact, they deserve their excesses because they are so faithful!
Witness the recent success of a small book called "The Prayer of Jabez." This book pulls from 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 an obscure story about a man named Jabez:
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, 'I gave birth to him in pain.' Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, 'Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.' And God granted his request."
Many Christians have embraced this as a Biblical authorization to throw themselves into materialistic quests. They pray daily that they become rich, famous, that they get promotions at work, marry well and any other worldly thing that comes to mind.
If there were a Biblical injunction to pray ANYTHING every day, would it not be the Lord's Prayer? And that one says, hmm, "Give us this day our daily bread," not our Hummer.
Desires and temptations are on the rampage. Where should we turn?
To the Bible, perhaps to James 1:14-15:
"But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is fullgrown, gives birth to death."
Instead, let us cleave to the words of a song by Reuben Morgan:
This is my desire: to honor You.
Lord with all my heart I worship You.
All I have within me, I give You praise.
All that I adore is in You.
Lord I give You my heart,
I give You my soul, I live for You alone.
Every breath that I take,
Every moment I'm awake,
Lord have Your way in me
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