This message is written and delivered by Tim Basselin
I have some smart children. But, they’re children and they’re ignorant. There are simply things they don’t know yet. And one of my jobs as a parent is to help them see into the future, to learn to desire something beyond the immediate. Which always sounds a lot like nagging, right? “You probably shouldn’t eat 5 slices of pizza.” “But I’m hungry!” “Yes, I know, but an hour from now when the soccer game starts… it’s going to be a problem.” Of course, most parental nagging is much more complex. “If you speak to your brother in that disrespectful tone, you’re going to speak to other people that way without even realizing it.” As much wisdom as I may think I’m imparting, well, the eye rolls ensue.
And why does it sound to them like nagging? Because children don’t desire a future self that is polite to people or that’s not throwing up on the sideline. No. Their desire is screeching and clawing the air for … for sitting in the front seat of the cat! “SHOTGUN!” You know, because none of them are ever going to ride in a car again. Ever. And they have to be in the front so they can see … everything… all the new stuff that may have appeared last night, after our drive to school yesterday, or any of the 100 days before that.
C.S. Lewis wrote,
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Let’s talk about desire, because it’s the season of Advent, the time leading up to the Birth of the Messiah.