Wants, Needs, and the Desires of your Heart

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7: 7,8)

This week, I’ve had a couple of funny conversations with people.  Now, bear in mind that I’m really not a ‘sporty’ kind of person.  Maybe its why these conversations caught my attention.  Regardless, the scenarios I’m going to reiterate can be easily translated into music or theatre, so I know I’m not immune to this rabbit hole of thinking.

The first conversation was with a friend of mine who was bemoaning the lack of team sports opportunities for their son during Covid.  “He needs this”; “Sports are what keeps us going”; and “He finally found ‘his sport’ and he’s being denied the opportunity to play”.  Since ‘needing’ sports, and ‘finding a sport’ were so foreign to me, I questioned my friend about this whole thing.  It turns out that hockey is a major recreational activity in this household.  During non-Covid times, being at an arena watching her son play hockey was also my friend’s major past-time.  Not only their time, but their financial resources go into hockey, and most of their socializing is spent at arenas.  When Covid precautions have restricted people from being able to participate in organized sports, this one family all of a sudden had the place where they found a major source of fulfillment also cut off; so that the place where they found ‘down-time’ and coping skills was no longer available to them.

The second conversation was with another friend with a younger child also bemoaning the loss of recreational sport activities  This time her regret was in terms of her child’s development.  “How can she be all that she can be if she’d denied opportunities to develop crucial skills for adulthood?”  Again, because I’m not a sporty person, I questioned my friend about what she meant.  She spoke about team-work, leadership and discipline; all things that in her perspective were not only offered in sports activities, but were only effectively offered in sports activities.

Now, you need to be sure, that I’m all about having a healthy, well-balanced life that includes times where you have recreation and socializing as well as places where you feel nurtured and fulfilled.  I’m also all over parents supporting their children so that they grow into adults who show leadership, who are disciplined, and who can function effectively on a team.  These are all really important things.

What’s given me pause, though, is that for these two people, the only places where they find these opportunities, are in sports.  And so I’ve had to do a ‘searching and fearless inventory’ of myself (and old AA step) and consider where I find fulfillment, where I felt that children could be nurtured into being good adults, and where I was willing to invest my time and my resources.  I know that I ‘should’ say that I find all of these critical things in my church or my faith – but if I’m entirely honest, I know that my money and my heart have mostly gone into music and arts activities.  I’ve spent countless hours waiting behind the Brockville Arts Centre for one of my children to come out of a late night rehearsal.  I have a sweatshirt with the moniker ‘stage mommy’ embroidered on the sleeve that was a hold-over from my days back stage for one of Emily’s shows. One of my great joys was being able to go see Hugh play a gig live a couple of months ago, and I almost started to cry when someone suggested that we wouldn’t be able to sing in church for a while longer.

And so this is where I think that, once again, being a Christian really isn’t easy, and is really quite revolutionary.  Our faith stories remind us continually that there is a big difference between ‘want’ and ‘need’.  And that when we are ‘seeking’ being nurtured and fulfilled that we might need to re-direct our attention from what the world offers, to what God offers.

Because at the end of the day – we all need places to belong, recreation to be a part of our lives and something that offers a bit of a relief from this Covid stressful world, but our truth also is that it isn’t in organized sports, or music, or frankly even in church.  We also need our children to be nurtured into being adults who are healthy and can be God’s best, but our truth is that this also isn’t in organized sports, or music, or church.

Its in God.

I know.  You all have this one licked.  I don’t(lol) and because I’m writing this blog you have to deal with it!  But when you hear someone talking about the loss of recreational sports, or music, or even the ability to gather for church, I hope you’ll hear them as saying that they need places to belong, to feel nurtured and supported, and opportunities to cope with the difficulties of the pandemic.  And then, maybe you can offer them a little bit of the Light and Hope that you carry because you’ve been seeking God.

Blessings today, and Remember you are Loved,

~Rev. Lynne

1 thought on “Wants, Needs, and the Desires of your Heart”

  1. Having been hockey parents to 5 boys who achieved various levels, I have seen the drive for these young players. One made semi pro and then decided to become a teacher. He now coaches junior A hockey. However, thank you for saying what we need is God.

    I have seen parents so obsessed that it is all they could do. I have found it at times a form of idolatry. The Canadian obsession over hockey is honestly insane. I have lots of stories. And what is the end goal? Hockey is not the only activity for kids. We have a good friend, same age as our youngest, who plays for the Canadiens. He hardly has played in recent years as he’s been hurt so much. It is similar in other sports and yes, even artistic endeavours. My two bio boys were national lifeguards and swim instructors too. My oldest did musical theatre and I cried as I watched him play the Captain in SoM, and Tony in WSS. But my goals were for them to have fun, enjoy being part of teams, to do their best, to learn – in case of swimming – to save themselves and others and to give them a part time good paying summer job. We never held grandiose attitudes about our kids achievements albeit others did it for us! I think too, I just wanted them to do whatever they wanted. I find kids today don’t know how to occupy their time as we as parents made sure it was constantly occupied. I can imagine it is difficult for parents and kids to not have these activities but .. . This past week we sold almost all our ski equipment (ours and kids) to people who are engaging healthily outdoors during these times. Communing maybe with God?


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