Of all the questions life presents on a daily or even minute-by-minute basis, I find myself asking more and more often...Do you want to?
This question is often asked both of me and by me. Have we become a society so self indulgent that what we want is the most important or even singular motivating factor driving our choices?
My teenagers would answer; absolutely, yes. social groups, support systems and media would answer the same way. One young woman assured me. "God loves me and wants me to be happy. If I do what makes me happy, then it makes him happy too and all the world is right." This was closely followed by an explanation of how her therapist and life coach had explained the principal to her and now she was always happy and never felt guilty. One of the complaints of many individuals about the practice of religion is they're tired of being made to feel guilt for their choices. Forgetting that each of us choose our feelings without any controlling factor involved.God is not your butler, Santa Clause or your therapist. No president, dictator, leader or divine being 'makes' us feel anything. So, why then do we easily claim pride for our successes but blame others for our defeats?
I asked my husband the other day; "Do you want to go to the store? I need to get milk, bread and cereal for the kids." He rolled his eyes and answered "No."
"No, were not buying food for the kids?"
He pulled his keys from his pocket and took my hand. "No, I don't want to go."
On our way to the grocery store, I realized I'd been asking him the wrong question for years. He did what should be done not what he wanted to do. The measure of a true humanitarian, a real man or woman and a truly Christ-like individual isn't in doing what they want to do. Even The Savior said "Father if thou wilt, remove this cup from me. Not my will but thine be done." (Luke 22:42)
His perfection was in his willingness to do what needed to be done. The wanting wasn't a problem. Is it for us? Does anyone ever ask what we should do instead of what we want? Do we require it of ourselves? Much of my life has been spent doing what needed to be done, not because I possess the will to do it, but because God has given me circumstances that require me to either do what needs to be done or die. Hopefully, you are not as stubborn as I am. Hopefully you listen to the gentle promptings of your God and ask Should I?