I tend to be an all or nothing kind of person. This has both advantages and disadvantages that also carry over into my relationship with Jesus. One of the advantages is that I’ve never been lukewarm when it comes to Him. Once I got just a tiny glimpse of His beauty and goodness, He got my whole heart and I’ve never looked back. That’s a good thing! Where it has been more of a challenge, though, is in the area of my hopes and dreams. I start out going after something hard, but if I become too discouraged or disinterested, I give up all together. I haven’t always been able to find a happy medium.
I don’t think it is ever wrong to put your all into something. The trick is carrying that kind of passion without getting sidelined or distracted when things don’t work out the way you hope or expect. It’s taken a while, but I think Jesus is finally teaching me to do just that.
Recently I heard someone paint a great word picture about just that concept. She likened our dreams and desires to dessert – something wonderful and sweet and greatly to be desired. But no matter how appealing dessert is, it will always be, well, dessert. It’s the cherry on top – not the main event. You can like it a lot, but you can’t live on it. Our daily journey with Jesus will always be the main meal.
I get that. He has been my “main meal” for a long time. I’ve never gotten caught in the trap of believing that seeking after my dreams – or even waiting on the promises of God – is the same thing as seeking after Him. It’s not. I have seen that happen to others and when things don’t work out “right” they are devastated and become offended with God. I can live without dessert but I can’t live without the substantial nourishment of daily abiding in Him. But what I haven’t always believed is that He wants me to ask for dessert. Not to seek it above Him, of course, but to enjoy dessert with Him. So often when I’ve gotten stirred up about one of my dreams or passions, I’ll start out all excited but then things just sort of fizzle out. If things don’t work out on the first go round or two, it is so easy to conclude that I must have “heard” wrong and He must not really want me to have it. And if He doesn’t want me to have it, well then I don’t want it either. Afterall, it’s not something I “need.” I have the main meal and that’s what matters- right? Well, yes…and no.
Yes, Jesus will always be the main thing in my life – but I like dessert! If I had to pick one or the other, the choice is ridiculously obvious. But does choosing Him, mean I need to sacrifice all of my unfulfilled dreams and desires at the altar? I don’t think so. Afterall, who wired me with those desires in the first place? Can I live and live well without those things – yes – but why should I if I don’t have to! It has become my personal conviction that Jesus wants us to enjoy a lot more dessert along the journey.
To be sure, He has given me many sweet tastes already, but there are so many desires still burning in my heart. I may not get all the dessert I want today or tomorrow and there are some things I probably won’t taste here at all, but I am expecting there to be many wonderful sweet treats in my future. Yes, I’ll always seek the “meal” first, so I’ know I’ll be well taken care of and spiritually healthy as I wait – I am incredibly grateful for that daily reality. He is my sole sufficiency. But my Bible also says that He is a God who does “exceedingly abundantly above all we could hope or ask.” That sounds like dessert.
I remember hearing a story some time back about a woman who was dying and she said she wanted to be buried with a fork in her hand. When asked about it, she recounted that whenever she was at an event where a meal was served, she was always excited when they told her to keep her fork because it meant something good was still to come – something really substantial. When she knew she would be leaving this life she wanted that fork in her hand as a statement that there was something really wonderful yet to come.
That is a great statement. In Christ, we do not live for this life alone. I am beyond grateful for the absolute certainty of a fabulous eternity spent in His presence. But the thing is, I’m living in His presence right now. Since He doesn’t change … well, I just can’t imagine that He wants us to give up on dessert here and now.
I’m not going to. I’ve got spiritual sweet tooth and I’m believing it will be satisfied. I’m waiting expectantly with my fork in my hand…
And I’m looking foward to dessert.