In Mark Batterson’s book, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, Batterson relates a story about one of Britain’s most accomplished ballerinas, Gillian Lynne. When Gillian was a a schoolgirl in the 1930s, teachers were concerned that she had a learning disability because she couldn’t sit still… So she was taken to a specialist who listened as Gillian’s concerned mother recounted her eight-year-old’s issues. Twenty minutes into the conversation the doctor asked Gillian’s mother for a word in private. As they left the counseling room, he turned on the radio and told Mrs. Lynn to watch. Gillian immediately got up and started moving to the music. The discerning doctor said, ‘Mrs. Lynn, Gillian isn’t sick. She’s a dancer. Take her to dance school.’ And that’s what Gillian’s mother did.”

I wonder what would have happened had Gillian’s mother taken her to a doctor who would have prescribed medication in an effort to calm Gillian down and make her like everyone else. According to Batterson, perhaps American psychologist Abraham Maslow may have said it best: “A musician must make music, a builder must build, an artist must paint, and a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.”

Why? Because the further you stray from the person God designed you and destined you to be, the less likely you are to decipher the voice of God when God speaks to you through your desires.

Our culture tends to put a negative spin on desires, and certainly there are some desires that do not originate from God and those desires must be silenced within us. However, it is a mistake to silence all desires for some are the voice of God guiding us as to who we are and who we are meant to become.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.” The desires that God gives us are those that allow us to serve God’s purposes. God delights in His work, and God wants nothing less for us.

When we deny who we are, or do not follow our desires to fulfill God’s purposes, we make it harder to delight in God.

No two people are designed by God to be exactly alike, and the pressure we place on ourselves and each other to conform to worldly norms is a self-made obstacle to fulfilling God’s purposes. Our uniqueness and individuality are not problems to be solved when we apply them to serve God’s purposes: They are the solution.

By discerning which of our desires are God-given, we can discern who we are and who we are meant to become.

Note: I regret I do not know the painter of the image, or the title of the painting, I used for this post. It may be subject to copyright.

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