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Wanting the Ends Without the Means

I want my children to learn to get along,
But I don't want to hear them fight.
I want them to feel their emotions and understand them,
But I don't want them to slam doors or be sassy.
I want them to be respectful to adults,
But I don't want to be embarrassed when they say something totally inappropriate.
I want them to choose to obey me,
But I don't want to come up with consequences when they don't.
I want them to fill their own time with play,
But I don't want to clean up the mess when they put stickers on the walls or throw tomatoes over the neighbor's fence or carve into the walls or cut through the upholstery with scissors.

I want them to be good.
But I don't want to suffer through their becoming good.

I want a rich and seasoned relationship with my husband,
But I don't want to endure seasons of dryness or coldness or disinterestedness.
I want to have friends who are different than me,
But I don't want to hear their threatening opinions.
I want to have mutually supportive friends,
But I don't want to admit that I need their support.
I want to help others,
But I don't want to feel their needy groping.
I want to be in a Christian community
But I don't want to be with a bunch of weirdoes who are pockmarked with quirky flaws and don't follow Christ like I do and have far too many ideals that I can't agree with.

I want deep relationships,
But I don't want to deepen them.

I want to be at peace in difficult situations,
But I don't want to be in the middle of difficult situations.
I want to be generous with my things,
But I don't want to worry about not having enough of my things.
I want to love others deeply,
But I don't want to collide with the parts of others that are hidden deep inside.
I want to trust God entirely,
But I don't want the rug jerked out from under my feet again and again to reveal that I wasn't standing on God at all but my own self-made dreams or ideas of goodness or plans for safety or mechanisms to measure my worth.

I want the ends without the means,
Which probably means I don't want the ends at all
But my own ideas of the ends,
Which are not the ends at all.

God, help me to want the means as well as the ends
Which is to want you 
And not the good things I think you owe me.


Anonymous said…
Very thoughtful and very honest, Abby. --Uncle Ed
Laura Provencio said…
Beautifully worded and so very true!!

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