What is it that we cling to? For some of us, our desires, are buried deep down. For others they are quickly visible on the surface of our being. Many have written of the dangers of holding to things as a generally unhealthy way to live. Whether it is an expectation of another human, or a life goal that seems just out of reach, the danger is not in the desire itself, but in its power over how we see the world, spend our energy, and are available to other things.
We often believe the gaining of the desire will ultimately fulfill a particular longing. The big ones here include (but aren’t limited to) desiring achievements at work to fulfill a sense of self worth, desiring the attention of others also to fulfill a sense of self worth, or desiring marriage to fulfill a place for intimate companionship.
Here’s the problem with desires. If the desire is strong enough, we will begin to conform all our choices in the attempt to attain the desire. If we are hungry, we think first about finding food. If we still don’t attain it we will become an embodiment of the desire for food. If we can’t find food and remain hungry, all we think about is the finding of food. Ultimately the desire for food (in this example) overtakes any other priority. it is the same with other seemingly mundane desires.
Food becomes gluttony
Rest becomes sloth
Self worth becomes pride
Connection becomes lust
Provision become greed
Observation becomes envy
Justice becomes wrath
The seemingly normal, healthy desire becomes a distorted, painful, hurtful thing as it takes over our being. It will not only hurt ourselves, but can also hurt those we are in relationship with – our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
Take note, pay attention, as the number one way to fall into this trap is to be deceived something we’re holding on to is actually normal and healthy. Here, the road is slippery, as well as narrow.