Wanting, Really Wanting

You have probably heard this story of the young guy who came to Socrates to gain wisdom; “O great Socrates, I come to you for wisdom.”
Socrates led the young man through the streets, to the sea, and chest deep into water. Then he asked, “What do you want?”
“Wisdom” said the young man with a smile.
Socrates put his strong hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed him under. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. “What do you want?” he asked again.
“Wisdom,” the young man sputtered, “O great and wise Socrates.”
Socrates crunched him under again. Thirty seconds passed, thirty-five. Forty. Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. “What do you want, young man?”
Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, “Wisdom, O wise and wonderful…”
Socrates jammed him under again Forty seconds passed. Fifty. “What do you want?”
“Air!” the young man screeched. “I need air!”
“When you want wisdom as you have just wanted air, then you will have it.”

A question I ask myself periodically is “What do I want, really want?” I am content with the amount of money I make, and with the amount and quality of my possessions. But I am not content with the level of spiritually maturity I have, I am not content with my relationship with God, and I am not content with the amount of fruit I have born. I want, really want more, and more, and more.  Maintaining the level of “want” in me, and even increasing it is not easy, but essential to growing both myself and my ministry.

Those who want the most pray the most, work the most, and accomplish the most. Becoming passive, and  comfortable with where we are and what we have accomplished happens so easily, and often we will spiritualize it, and call it trust or contentment, or blame it on our temperament.

I build “want and desire” in myself by examining my life and ministry, and seeing all that could still be done, and I pray for it. The discipline of praying over and over for those things that should be happening and aren’t is for me a major cause of passion and fire.



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