What do you really want?

One of the great unanswered questions of popular music is what the Spice Girls really wanted. About 20 years ago they released their single Wannabee that propelled them to fame and inflicted them on the nation. ‘I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want, So tell me what you want, what you really, really want, I wanna, really, really wanna,  zig a zig ah.’  There is much speculation about what zig a zig ah stands for, but it seems that is just gobbledegook that means ‘insert your own desire here.’

Could you say what you really, really want? If you were to watch the X-Factor, you will see young wannabee popstars, begging the judges to pick them and make them rich and famous, ‘I want this so much,’ ‘I want this more than anything else in the world,’ ‘I have wanted this so badly, my whole life’, which is not that long when you’re only 15.

They think they know what they really want.

Blind Bartimaeus certainly knew what he wanted. Once he knew that Jesus was passing by, he clamoured for Jesus’ attention; he was not going to let this opportunity pass him by. Characteristically, Jesus asked him what he wanted him to do for him. He did not need to be asked twice: ‘Lord, I want to see.’he replied. 

Jesus affirmed that it was Bartimaeus’ faith that had healed him. This was faith in the healing power of Jesus but was combined with the certainty of what he wanted. He was persistent, he was determined, he made himself heard above the noise of the crowd, and this was to bring its reward.

St Paul was a man who knew what he wanted, he wrote to the Philippians, ‘I want to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection,’ he spent the rest of his life, determined to understand the meaning of Christ and share this knowledge with other people.

St James in his letter on the other hand, criticised those who were double-minded, who had not made their mind up, who were not sure about what they wanted. He wrote that ‘a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.’

St John in the book of Revelation lambasts the church in Laodicea for being lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. It drives John to distraction. He wants them to be passionate about their faith.

If you were asked what you really, really want in life at the moment could you give an answer?

Imagine yourself in the crowd, and the Lord draws you out and asks you, ‘what do you want me to do for you.’ Would you be able to answer him, and what are you prepared to do to make it happen?

Dare we pray for what we want to be? Naming your desire, and asking God to help bring it about, must mean 100% commitment to making it happen. We cannot just pray for example that God will make us better people and hope that he will wave a magic wand. We have to work hard at it ourselves.

Back in the 1980’s there was a television show called Fame set in the New York City High School of Performing Arts, where were many young hopefuls wanted to pursue a career as performers. The dance teacher  Lydia Grant set them straight right from the start: ‘You’ve got dreams. You want fame, and fame costs and right here is where you start paying in sweat.

The refugees from Syria know what they want, they are determined to reach the safety of the west. Some are even now cycling into Norway from Russia. Those who have come from eastern Europe to work in this town want to work and build better lives for their families.

Not knowing what you want out of life, can leave you like a ship that is adrift, becalmed, in the doldrums. We may not always know what we really want from life, but through prayer, through our friendship with God, we can discern our deepest desires, the desires that help us know who were are to become and what we are to do. God knows what he wants from us. He encourages us to notice and name these desires,

so we can cry out like Bartimaeus,  ‘Lord I want to………….. (insert own desire here)’