“But I wanted other things more. All the time. I wanted to be spiritually and emotionally filled every day of my life. I wanted to be loved and cuddled by a hundred children and never go a day without laughing. I wanted to wake up to a rooster’s crow and open my eyes to see lush green trees that seem to pulse with life against a piercing blue sky and the rusty red soil of Uganda. I wanted to be challenged endlessly; I wanted to be learning and growing every minute. I wanted to be taught by those I teach, and I wanted to share God’s love with people who otherwise might not know it. I wanted to work so hard that I ended every day filthy and too tired to move. I wanted to feel needed, important, and used by the Lord. I wanted to make some kind of difference, no matter how small, and I wanted to follow the calling God had placed on my heart. I wanted to give my life away, to serve the Lord with each breath, each second. At the end of the day, no matter how hard, I wanted to be right here in Uganda.”- Katie Davis
This quote comes directly from a book I just finished, Kisses from Katie. I love the book for a number of reasons, but the main one stems from Katie’s ability to word so many cries and aches of my heart. I believe as Christians, we all experience what Katie expresses throughout this book. While God’s will for all of us is not to move to Uganda and start a ministry such as Katie’s, He has called us all to more than normalcy. I am the first to admit that I can be distracted by my comfortable American life. Most mornings begin with me sitting down with whatever I choose for breakfast, spending some time reading God’s word and praying to the Lord that my life would make a difference. Soon after that “quiet time”, however, I often become immersed in all the commodities and comforts of this life- the Ipod that allows me to choose whatever music I so desire to listen to; the closet full of clothes that gives me to opportunity to pick out whatever clothes I want to wear.It’s not that these things are necessarily bad, it’s just that they are irrelevant. Meaningless, meaningless, meaningless, as the writer of Ecclesiastes so poignantly reminds us.
I truly believe that the more of our lives we surrender to Christ; the more we say “Yes” to the things He asks of us and “No” to the things of this world, we become less drawn to and satisfied by the temporary. There was a time in my life that food, drink, fashion, money, entertainment, and all other temporary fixes were my only source of happiness. I now find that the more I am around these things, the more I want to run to my Savior who I know will eternally and limitlessly be there. While I certainly struggle with running to other things to bring my joy, I am intensely aware that anything and everything outside of God’s provision and love with leave us empty and wanting. God promises that He will give us more than we ask and imagine (Eph. 3:20), and the more I trust that promise, the more I desire to give up everything outside of God’s purpose for my life. As Katie so eloquently put it, it’s not that I don’t want other things, I just want Him more. Once we taste His water, we will never be thirsty (John 4:14). Once we trust His promises, we will never lack joy. (Psalm 16:11). Will it be easy? No. Will it be “normal” in the eyes of those around us? Probably not. But will it be worth it? Yes. Most certainly yes.