Monday, May 2, 2011

Madness of the Gods (or Lust and Why I'm a Bad Person)

For the past few days I've been rereading Rob Bells' incredible book Sex God. Today as I was reading I was struck by something he said:

"Lust comes from a deep lack of satisfaction with life. This is why we have to slow down and reflect on our lives before we'll ever begin to sort out the significance of this. Lust often starts with a thought somewhere in our head or heart: 'If I had that/him/her/it, then I'd be...'

When we're not at peace, when we aren't content, when we aren't in a good place, our radar gets turned on. We're looking. searching. And we're sensory creatures, so it won't be long before something, or somebody, catches our attention.

And it always revolves around 'if,' doesn't it?

If I just..."

Uuuuuugh. This sums me up.

The last thing I want to do is to objectify someone else. I don't want to be bored and frustrated with what I'm placed in in life. God put me here for a reason, and I want to be able to be content in this. If Paul could be content in all circumstances, including shipwreck, prison, etc., why on earth am I incapable of doing the same?

I don't want to feel like I'm incomplete without someone in my life. I want to see other people as the beautiful creatures they are and not as something that I must "possess" in order to feel justified in life and complete.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if there is something wrong with me. How do I reframe my mind? More importantly, how do I control my thoughts and my heart? I want the overflow from my heart to be positive and wonderful. I want it to be, as Conor Oberst said, "the warm yellow light" that covers the people I love. I want to be something good in the lives of others and I don't want to lust after people and things in any capacity. I don't want that to be one of my many faults.

Yesterday, Sam and I were discussing fasting. Two weeks ago he did a 3-day green tea detox, and this past week I did one. The thing that impressed us both was that we realized we were capable of that kind of restraint. Three days with no food. Three days of green tea and water. For a pair of kids in their early 20's who grew up in America where people eat constantly, you gotta admit, this is pretty impressive. I'm not saying we're super heroes or anything, but I was excited to realize that I can say no to things when I feel it's important.

I told Sam what excites me most is the fact that this means we can use this same principle in other areas of our lives. I think it's high time that I figure out how to make this happen in the rest of my messy life. I've learned I'm capable of more. I need to prove it.

Sam is talking about doing a day of fasting each month, and I think this wouldn't be a bad plan. It would be nice to prove to myself that I can do this each month. Plus it would, as Sam put it, give me motivation and help me see what I can do. Plus, if I make sure I do this once a month, it will make it something sacred and important. I can do more to focus on God and maybe continue to learn to listen.

Things to think about.

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