Look Beyond Your Wants

Week 2, Day 2

Dr. Allen Hunt is a nationally known speaker and bestselling author. His books include Confessions of a Mega-Church Pastor: How I Discovered the Hidden Treasures of the Catholic Church, Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody, and Nine Words: A Bible Study to Help You Become the Best-Version-of-Yourself.. Allen and his wife, Anita, live in Atlanta and have two grown daughters.

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Well I heard that word for the first time this year . . . “Grandpa.” And I always thought it was cheesy when I saw people running around, talking about their grandkids and showing pictures. But then it happened to me, and it was instantaneous.

It opened up a new dimension in my heart that I didn’t even know I had, when I met my first grandchild, my grandson, right after he was born. And that was the fulfillment of one of my deepest desires. It was a desire so deep I barely even knew it was there, but it came rushing forth in this really profound way.

But that happened because, in my early twenties, I had this deep desire to share my life with people I love. And frankly, I developed that deep desire when I looked at some of the people that I worked with who were twenty, and thirty, and even forty years older than I was. And so many of them seemed so broken to me, and so lonely. And I realized I wanted to pick a different path because I had this deep desire to share my life with people I love.

So when my grandson was born, it was a reminder of the fulfillment of that deep desire of sharing that life. ‘Cause you and I, we have shallow wants: Donuts. I love donuts. And we have deep desires: Full, healthy meals that help to fuel my body well. Shallow wants versus deep desires. But a desire is a want with meaning.

Now, a lot of us spend a lot of our time pursuing desires, pursuing pleasure. That’s the danger of Advent, isn’t it? Peppermint lattes, endless parties, gifts, all the frenzy. And we spend a lot of time pursuing those illegitimate wants during Advent. The problem is, you can never get enough of what you don’t really need. But I’m thinking about our deepest longings, our yearnings for more love, more meaning, more prayer, more silence.

It’s just so easy to fill our lives with more technology, more information, more internet, more web, more cookies, when perhaps we need to be listening instead for that still, small voice that’s different than the voice of the world.

So think about it. How are you being drawn to your deeper desires?

There is a deeper meaning to Christmas that inspires us to look beyond our superficial wants and begin to discover our deepest desires. The difference between our wants and our deepest desires is meaning. A desire is a want with meaning. Our deepest desires are things we want because we know they align with our purpose in life. Our fulfillment and happiness, our wholeness and holiness, depend on us living out of the deepest desires of our hearts. What is the meaning behind your desires this Christmas?

To go deeper into this topic, check out Part 2, Chapter 3 (“Beyond Our Wants”) in Matthew Kelly’s book The Rhythm of Life.


A desire is a want with meaning.


Take a step back and listen to the deeper desires of your heart.


Jesus, help me to be vulnerable enough to explore the deepest desires of my heart this Christmas, so I can live the life you have dreamed for me.