What do you want? What do you really want? If you had a great deal of money and power what would you do? Would you buy a mansion, a yacht, a corporate jet, and other luxuries and recruit a harem of women? Or would you fund worthy causes and try to right the wrongs in the world? If you are like me, you have two deep desires that seem to be at war with one another. One is about egoism, avarice and sensuality and the other is about giving, loving and God. Ultimately, one love will be stronger than the other and, I believe, that will determine your destiny.
I have an acquaintance named Bob who is married to an attractive wife. He has a good job and is in his mid-30s. Over a drink one evening, Bob told me that he never wants to have kids. “Too much trouble and too expensive.” He wants to have a “good life,” complete with lots of money, lots of recreation and “big toys for big boys.” He proudly told me about the new Dodge Hemi Challenger he had purchased for over $40,000. “I love that car,” he said. “I hardly drive it, just in the summer, on nice days.”
I recently met a man in his early 30s who seemed to disapprove of me. He sensed that I was religious and said that he had grown up in a Christian home. He had just finished “shotgunning” a beer in front of a small crowd of onlookers (shaking the can, punching a hole in the bottom, and letting the beer blast down his throat). He was dressed in casual, designer clothes and seemed proud of it. He was unmarried, didn’t have a real job and occasionally used a certain woman for sex. (She worshipped the ground he walked on. He seemed indifferent towards her.) After interviewing me for some time and making a contemptuous comment about my sweatshirt, he decided I was okay because I sometimes went to nightclubs and drank beer. What, in your opinion, does this man love?
I recently visited a Harley Davidson dealer. The motorcycles on display were expertly polished works of art. It seemed a bit weird to be looking at motorcycles in early February, but then, carefully looking at their product, I realized that Harley Davidson wasn’t simply selling motorcycles. They were selling machismo, sex appeal, image, status and a vagabond fantasy. They were selling ego-gratification and offering a product that had little to do with day-to-day transportation. Harley Davidson’s success, like that of so many other companies, is largely due to appealing to deep, usually unspoken and, to some extent, unconscious desires.
I like to believe that my deepest desire is to please God: to avoid evil and to do good works, to be a good husband, father and employee. I like to believe that status, wealth, power, and extra-marital sex are not important to me. However, too often I catch myself being vindictive, egotistical, overly sensitive, judgmental and selfish. (Aren’t all of these the result of inordinate self-love?) In the end, how I live my life will show what I truly love and desire. As the Lord has rightly said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:21).