Longing Wrongly

Day 2 of 6 • This day’s reading



Lust for the past

Many people want to press the rewind button. We tune into radio stations playing our favorites of the past in efforts to escape to an easier chapter of life. Great comfort is found in mentally returning to when we survived instead of venturing into an unknown future. Oddly, the Israelites lusted for going back into slavery. Slavery was preferable to freedom! Strange decisions are made in hunger. Lust is deceptive hunger that can send you longing forward or backward.

I wonder how you would fill in the blank: “I lust for ____” What would the “greener grass” be for you? I’ve confessed to you that my greener grass of choice is ease, but every object of lust comes with a hidden price we may not be willing to pay. A large inheritance very likely means the death of someone dear. A very comfortable income may be the result of years of working 12 to 15 hour days and the loss of close family relationships. Suddenly, that greener grass begins to look like spray paint on plastic turf, doesn’t it? Celebrity seems enviable until we realize the hollow satisfaction of being loved for what you do and not for who you really are. Modern media worship Hollywood types; but in that airbrushed bubble, marriages fail by the day, and rehab stints appear as common as a cold. Besides, living the perceived lifestyle of someone else is not why you’ve been placed on Earth!

My friend Dwight Edwards has a great reminder for those of us who fantasize about trading places. He says, “When you crave someone else’s life, remember you must trade for it all.” That means if you want their house, then you must take their job. If their busy schedule seems invigorating, then you must forfeit time with your wife and kids. If you want their marriage, then you must deal with their inlaws (and “outlaws,” too). If you lust after their better vacation locations and more expensive cars, you get their bills, as well. Personally, when I think of that kind of wholesale trading, I’d rather stay in my own yard. Thinking of “trading for it all” kills my heart of jealousy and lust for another person’s journey. If I can only get the fruit of their life by abandoning the roots of my own, then I’d consider the trade too costly!