There is a part of me that wants to ground my daughter if she ever does it again. It’s happened numerous times before and the end result is that it negatively impacts my life and so it seems to me that the proper and just thing to do is to ground her, to punish her if she ever does it again.
Those who know my daughter will wonder what it is that could set me off. They will scratch their heads and think, “I can’t imagine she would do anything deserving such a consequence.” But she has. And I believe she will again.
The crime – she makes the most delicious brownies I have ever had. I LOVE those just slightly undercooked, gooey, tasty, chocolaty treats. And now, because of those brownies, some items of clothing no longer fit. Seeing myself on the videos of my sermons reinforced the reality of the problem. She should be grounded for doing such things to the father who loves her!
Seriously, the brownies are a struggle for me. Even now – at 7 in the morning – they call my name. I desire their goodness. I long to take a bite and savor their sweetness. I hate that about me. I hate the way I long for something that creates a difficulty for me in life. And, at times, I dislike myself because I can’t shake that desire.
And there’s the catch. Often times I define myself but what I desire. Instead of healthy foods I want the fried stuff – why can’t I let that go? Instead of looking at our church and seeing the change in people’s lives I tend to focus on the level of giving and the number of people in worship (I have a desire to be seen as successful and effective) – why am I that way?
Truth is, we are not defined by our desires. We are defined by our choices. To have a tendency toward that which is not good or helpful is our human condition, but who we are is not defined by what we desire – who we are is defined by what we choose.
If I choose to eat healthy, I am fit and energetic. If I choose to eat what I most often desire, I am fat and complacent. If I choose to look at how God is at work in the lives of people, I find joy in their growth. If I choose to look at numbers in worship and dollars in the offering plate, I find either anxiety or nothing more than a moment of fleeting joy (for the bills will be paid, a new offering needed, and Sunday will come again in 7 days or less).
I have come to realize – I am what I choose.
Do you define yourself by your desires? Do you think you are only what you are attracted to? It’s not true. It is not your desire that defines you, it is your choices. Who will you be? What choice will you make?
Holy high-five to you, Mike