Storytelling and screenwriting begin with the question “Who are they and what do they want?” The main character has to want something if it’s going to be an interesting story. For it to be an epic story, they have to want something big and important . . . and be willing to take an extraordinary risk or pay an incredible price to get it.
Deciding what we want seems easy when we’re young. “I want a beautiful wife.” “I want my college degree.” “I want a good job.” “We want a child.” Concrete, specific ‘wants.’
As these things come to us, we check them off our list. And we’re grateful.
But as we mature, the things we want become less didactic; more ethereal, if you know what I mean. We want to be happy. We want fulfillment. Meaning. Significance. We want to belong. We want to love and be loved.
And as these ‘wants’ get harder to define, they get harder to measure. How do you check fulfilled off your list? Without God in your life, they get harder to obtain too. A lot harder.
You see, God is about people. He told us to love Him first and foremost, but then after that, love others just as much as we love ourselves. I’d argue that loving God, in real terms, is best done by loving others. Jesus said, “if you’ve done it to one of the least of these (people), you’ve done it to me.” When we love people, truly love and serve them, we’re honoring God.
How we love and serve people depends on our unique gifts, our wiring and to some degree, our resources. But there’s little question in my mind (and from my experience), that when I want what God wants . . . when I love and serve people . . . I’m happy, fulfilled, content, and on purpose.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” says Psalm 37:4.
Hang out with Him. He’ll give you ‘wants’ that match up with His. And I betcha a dollar they’ll be about loving and serving people.