It’s Always About What We Want More
Today’s gust post is from our good friend Lisa Whittle. Lisa’s new book I Want God is a powerful challenge for each of us to find our way back to the God that loves us and longs to be the center of our affection.
It happened about 10 years ago in my now 19-year marriage, but I’ll never forget it. It’s one of my least shining moments.
My husband, a sometimes romantic, manages the impossible: whisks me away for a night out, away from the kids, on our anniversary. I am no good at surprises, and it’s something he knows. But on this night, he has taken that chance for the greater good of our relationship.
“Where are we going?” I ask, more than once in the car. He smiles and says, “You’ll see,” and I am both intrigued and uncomfortable. He’s trustworthy, but I am one of those who just likes to know, which sometimes causes him to think I believe he’s not.
We drive through our gorgeous uptown, the lights smiling at us, lighting our way. I point out an awesome new high-rise. We laugh about something one of our kids said. The night feels easy and right, and I feel myself starting to relax.
It is about this time we pull into our destination: a hotel I’ve never been to before. Immediately, it doesn’t look good to me in that weird way women sometimes decide without really knowing why. But I don’t want to tell my husband, who is being so sweet and amazing.
I want to act, but I’m not a good actress. He can tell I am unsure. The words tumble out of my mouth before I can stop them, “I don’t like the looks of this place. There’s construction going on here. I’m not sure where we park. See that guy walking right there, coming out of the hotel? He looks shady. Let’s just go.”
The words hurt, and I can see it on my husband’s face. He’s tried to do something nice for me, and it’s a gift I’ve rejected – told him in not so many words that it’s not something I want. He pulls the car out of the parking deck, back towards home, where we stay for the rest of the night, with the kids, anniversary gone uncelebrated.
This is a true story, but it isn’t just a marriage story. In many ways, it is the story of my life.
I need something. I want something. But I choose something I want in the moment, and it gets in the way of what I really want more.
On this night, I want to be with my husband, the man I love. I want us to celebrate our life together, to laugh and eat great food and relish in the quality time, which is so rare with busy lives and parenting children.
But I choose something I want in the moment, instead – to make myself feel more comfortable. And by so doing, I unconsciously thwart all of that joy and goodness with a choice of the temporary.
Sometimes, I do this with God.
He prompts me to do something. I want to do it, but it seems hard. I choose to ignore His voice and stay comfortable. As a result, I miss out on Him using me in a greater way.
He wants to bless me. But I don’t want to do the work to have the kind of relationship with Him that lets me ask Him for the world. So I settle for stale prayers and half-hearted asks.
He longs to show me things and give me wisdom. I just want Him to make sense, and that tunnel vision stops the Godly revelation.
The hard truth is this: daily, we choose temporary things over Him, things like popularity and comfort and our own logic and control, because we don’t trust Him to be the better choice.
It’s what we say to Him with our life even when our lips say something else.
We have to decide what we really want more. We have to decide, once and for all, that more is God.
And not just because it is what He desires from us, but because of what it will mean to our life, too.
There’s one more thing you should know about the ruined anniversary night story.
My husband didn’t tell me until much later, something that really made me sad: he had arranged for the room to have my favorite flowers in it, waiting for me. I never got them. I gave them up because I couldn’t see them, didn’t trust and didn’t know.
God wants us to choose Him, over everything else, even when we don’t know things like how He will use us, how He will bless us, how He will change our life.
No matter what it looks like, He will always be the better choice.
We want to give away 3 copies of Lisa’s book. Just leave your name and where you’re from in the comments and we’ll announce winners on Sunday, October 26, 2014.
To read more about the book: www.IWantGod.me