Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

SHOULD OR WANT
11/22/2016 12:05:00 AM by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

EXCERPT

I PRAYED FOR PATIENCE GOD GAVE ME CHILDREN

If wishing made it so, I’d be wearing a size eight and driving a Mercedes.

 

 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,

and all these things will be given to you as well

(Matthew 6:33).

 

I know the drill. I hear it from my doctor with every visit. Lose weight, eat more nutritiously, and get more exercise. I know there are certain practices that need to change for optimal good health.

I vow to decrease my caffeine intake while increasing my fiber. I know I need to lose 30 pounds or more, complete thirty minutes of daily aerobic activity, drink eight glasses of water, and consume the requisite servings of fruits and vegetables.

With good intentions, I dust off the treadmill, put motivational stickers around the house, and keep a diary of my new healthy ambitions. In spite of determination, my bad habits resurface. “I just don’t have enough will power,” I moan while pouring my fourth cup of coffee.

Is my inability to change due to lack of motivation? Am I too weak of spirit?

 

“Why,” I reprimand myself, “can’t you change?”Perhaps it is because I suffer from the shoulds. I should drink less caffeine; I should exercise more; and I should lose weight. Every magazine I pick up has more than half of its content devoted to the shoulds.

I don’t comply because I lack the wants. Oh, it’s true I’d like to be as beautiful as Cameron Diaz, as athletic as Angelina Jolene, and as perky as Reese Witherspoon, but am I willing to make the sacrifice to obtain these characteristics? Do I have the commitment for change?

When Sally Baker discovered her daughter’s constant ear infections were the result of exposure to second hand cigarette smoke, she evaluated what was more important—her habit or her daughter’s health. Convicted that a behavior change was needed to protect her daughter, her motivations changed. With a higher desire, she made the commitment to take the cigarette smokeoutside. Eventually, she quit smoking entirely. When a should became a want, she was finally able to rearrange her priorities.

What of our spiritual lifestyles?

We believe we should read the Bible more, attend church regularly, and give generously. Every devotional article we read reminds us of the benefits when we do these things. Yet, our striving toward these goals wane as the mundane erodes our best intentions.

God does not desire the empty exercise of religiosity. He wants a heart that desires him. The more we seek him, the more we want to be in his presence. We no longer pray because we should. We pray because our day is incomplete without spending time alone with

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