desire my tutor

The parental NO.

I remember as a kid wanting to attend a weekend away with a group of friends and my parents proclaimed “NO!”

The details are sketchy to me now, but what I experienced deep within was this strong scheming desire to

  • go behind their back
  • to trick them
  • push against being under their authority
  • even plotting how I would “eliminate” them in my life (scary but true and I do not think I am the only kid who has plotted revenge in this way).

Desire was calling, wooing me to make all my own decisions, go where I wanted, do what I wanted to do, with out anyone limiting my “freedom.”

Does desire exist to lead me into a trap?

Like Cain, “…sin is crouching at my door” always, but it’s my desire that unearths the choices set before me. What will I choose? How will I see and engage with my desires?

Often I hear people talk about how God feels far away and absent when this “sin” knocks. But in Cain’s story, we see God walking with Cain in the midst of the “sin” that is at his door. This is not a place of God’s absence, but rather it’s a place that God seems highly engaged with us!

Could desire be the place where my darkest shadows get unearthed? Might what is unearthed be a tilling of my heart to reveal roots of desire?

Years later, as I looked into my daughter’s eyes, this time I was the one issuing the “NO!” Now it was my turn to stand on the other side and face her desire.

What I noticed inside myself was a deep and fierce love for her. This love was so strong that I was more than willing to stand face to face with her desires. I wanted to protect her, from herself, from the world, from the decisions that could cause her harm. My desire stood toe to toe with her desire and, since I was the parent, I won – for the moment.

 “Tame your demons and turn them into angels.” – Richard Rohr

How often do I make God far away from anything that I would qualify as a “sinful desire?” To often my thinking is that God is absent, waiting on the “right” side of my decision. But I am coming to see, taste, smell, hear and touch this presence of God with me in the choice.

The simple but profound moment is when I pause and notice that this Presence wants to be with my desires – not to destroy them, but to transform them and me.

My demons are many: pride – gluttony – lust – greed – self-centeredness (I could go on, but you get the idea…)

So today, in this state of having to rest, I am being still and listening to some of my desires:

  • to see marriages healed from the ravages of lust…
  • to kick some sexual sense into the groins of some men I know and love…
  • to experience being free from the shame of not loving some people well…
  • to shake a mother I know and demand she seek help for her addiction…
  • to protect the innocent children hurt by their parent’s choices…
  • to quit casual swearing…
  • to be reconciled to someone I love…
  • to quit having to engage with people who hurt me…
  • to run…

It’s precisely within these desires that God wants to meet me. It’s here that I am invited to “look up” and into my Creator’s face and not rely on my own perceptions. It’s here that is holy ground. Not always pretty, but it is holy…and only from this place will my demons begin to be tamed…

 

~ becky

 

Photo credit.

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