What kind of thoughts does the word “desire” bring to your mind? Some think of riches while others covet the prestige of position–a name known to many. Some have longings for a family of their own, and others dream of a life of service. Sadly, some minds tend towards darker things, such as acts of revenge or impurity. In his 1927 poem, “Desiderata,” Max Ehrmann shared his own thoughts on what man should covet above all else that earth offers. Things unseen, yet very real.
Silver and gold are not among the desired things written down in “Desiderata,” social admiration is missing, and so are selfish gain and minding the business of others. Mr. Ehrmann writes instead of coveting peace amidst the noise of life, charity towards all, avoiding bitterness by avoiding comparison with another, taking a humble and thankful attitude towards a job well done, and an appreciation for the gift of life even when faced with drudgery or broken dreams. His poem goes on to say much more, but the character in his list remains the same throughout.
What is the longing of your soul? Perhaps you can no longer hear its call amidst the noise of daily living, or perhaps you know within yourself that your longing cannot or should not be fulfilled. The author of the Book of Isaiah penned words of wisdom that mirror much of what Mr. Erhmann wrote centuries later; how to live by loving God’s path for us:
Indeed, in the path of Your judgments, O Lord, We have waited expectantly for You;
Your name, even Your memory, is the desire and deep longing of our souls. Isaiah 26:8
“Desiderata” is the Latin for desired things. God knows we hold desire within our hearts and He holds desires for each of us in His heart too, for it is from His Hands that the very best things in life are received.