The “Wants” Disorder

Wednesday, April 9

4-9By Zachary Harmon-McLaughlin of Wickliffe, Ohio, USA

“…let them seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.”

—1 Peter 3:11–12

Have you ever struggled with the “wants”? Do you know what I mean? The “wants” is a nasty disorder. I come down with a bad case anytime I enter a guitar shop or electronics store. I find myself looking at all these new and great products, while understanding I can’t afford any of them. Now you know what I mean by the “wants” disease.

I think many of us experience a bout or two with the “wants.” Many of us live in a culture where this is normal. The problem for me is when I read about Jesus in the Gospels. I get the idea that more stuff isn’t going to fulfill me. I have to let stuff go. The stuff is not going to give me deep, lasting joy—a joy that will be there regardless. For example:

“As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!’” (Luke 19:41–42). For me, I know a flat-screen television isn’t going to propel my community closer to peace. I know more drums and musical equipment aren’t going to transform my community into a reflection of the kingdom of God. Knowing this, why do I struggle so often with the “wants”?

I am led to this thought: When we are living in true, right community with one another, we have no need for most of our wants. We release our temporary satisfaction and gain a lasting joy. We find ourselves fulfilled by love and grace. A good example of this for Community of Christ occurs at reunions (family camp) and youth camps.

When we go to camp and leave behind most of our possessions, we do fine—better than fine. We thrive. We aren’t concerned with news or TV shows because we have one another.

Discipleship is not about having “more stuff.” It is about deep understanding of living in a way that mirrors God’s peaceable kingdom. We can’t look inside a mall to find the blessings that make for the peace that Jesus talks about. We look to each other. To find the tools that make for peace, we need to begin cultivating our response to our personal calling—our part in Christ’s mission. Our un-needed “stuff” is a small price to pay.

Prayer for Peace
Generous God, help us empty our lives of shallow, temporary, goals. Help us recognize our need to be part of Christ’s mission of peace.

Spiritual Practice: Examining God’s Call to Me and to All
Reflect on God’s call in your life. Begin by prayerfully asking to recall particular moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation. How and when has God called you to use your energies and gifts? When have you felt God’s love in your life? How do your gifts and callings connect with the call of your family, friends, and community?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will inventory my needs and wants and prayerfully treat the symptoms of my “wants” disorder.

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  1. Diane Akers

     /  10 April 2014

    How very true, thanks for sharing! It is in those times of communing with one another that we find Christ joy and peace. We are a country with so many things that we all neeed to ask “what is really necessary?

  2. Connie Lane Lindeen

     /  10 April 2014

    Thanks Zach for the great reminder.

  3. Linda McGeary

     /  9 April 2014

    Thinking about our HCOF meeting, and our sharing. Sorry, Tami, we did try to reach you, but for some reason my wifi or connection somewhere along the line just wasn’t cooperating. We miss you, but know you are being a blessing where you are, and being blessed. I just wanted to say to you all what a blessing you are to me. Thank you. This touched a cord with me that is still reverberating so thought I send it along, my the reverb bring Harmonic Convergence of Friends. Love Linda

  4. Brenda Mitchell

     /  9 April 2014

    Thanks for the reminder. Your comments are so true, even if I still “want” a new computer to replace my seven-year old model which is so temperamental. Does that maybe qualify as a need? Indeed, some of my mountaintop experiences have been at reunions and youth camps when I was surrounded by love.

  5. Daniel Waite

     /  9 April 2014

    Hey Tom here is a good worship fits me to a tee —love Dad


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