The Appetite of the Present

“Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.” -Jim Elliott

I have trouble living in the here and now.  This can branch into so many areas of my life, it’s rather ridiculous. I long for change. I really like home improvement (and tend to be impatient when I want something done and it’s not getting done). I wannnnnt to live in China. I can’t wait to have that 2 mile run done on Wednesday morning. If only we had our student loans paid off… fill in the blank. I need to plan next week’s lessons, now. Once I get better at praying and reading the Jesus Word, I’ll… The list doesn’t stop there, but I think I might stop for fear of sinking into a more depressed state. Ha ha.

Jim Elliott’s quote will most assuredly be taken out of the context of where it is found. Though I have in the past related quite well to this quote about keeping yourself in the present instead of dreaming about what your future love life will be, this quote presents itself in a different costume as I read it this time.

I love the verbage used in the quote, this archaic language that Elliott seemed to speak on a regular basis reminds me of Shakespeare. I really have to use the old cranium whenever I’m reading something from him. Thank God that the Bible is translated into the language of the present so I can get a grip on it without racking my brain too violently.

Let not our longing… Is there anything I desire? Yes, and there are things that I can definitely long for to the point of obsession. Not things that are necessarily abnormal – the list can include any of the things listed in the first paragraph and more.

Slay… what a great action here! I think of knights and warriors slaying their mortal enemies, dragons collapsing, coming down, down, down, catapulting hundreds of yards anything that stood in their way. Giant, chivalrous swords finally serving justice to whomever its unlucky receiver might have been.

Picture our longings, our passions, our desires (however admirable) killing, mortifying ourselves. How is that possible? Our appetite to live in this world today can be suppressed by the intensity of our future plans. But Shauna, Paul tells us we should always be striving for what is ahead. Truth. But when our daydreams and doodling that try to make tomorrow something that only God can make it, are we paying attention in class (life)? We suddenly have a problem. And a big one at that.

We have no idea what page we’re on, and the whole class is looking at us. How convenient that I get called on next. (By the way, teachers can tell when their students aren’t paying attention and look for these kinds of opportunities. Isn’t that mean? I wonder if God does this to us when we’re caught daydreaming.)

Check it out. If you spend your time chasing tomorrow’s potential,what happened to today? Oops. It’s gone, and then it’s tomorrow. Don’t spoil your appetite with dessert! It’s just like Mom always said. Imagine that. And if you live in China, dessert is never as good as it looks. Don’t ruin your chance to live in the moment in hopes that the future will be something great. Carpe Diem.

How? How about I hit that in the next post. I shall leave you with a fitting lyric from a song I can sing with truth and with the Spirit within.

“God take the day, destroy our hearts so we can recover. Take us away, so we won’t bow our hearts to another. When we have full sight of You, we can’t take our eyes off You. I want to live my life that way.” -Anthem [One Life]

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