Healthy body . . . and . . . brownies, French fries, super-sized anything
Loving marriage . . . and . . . to be right, have my way, control the universe,
Well-mannered children . . . and . . . be their friend, slack on discipline, give them what they beg for
Family meals . . . and . . . gymnastics, soccer, martial arts
You get the picture.
It seems that everything we say we want will cost us something. It all boils down to what we want most. We would never say that we want brownies more than a healthy body or that we want to be right more that to have a loving marriage. That would sound awful. So we tell ourselves that we want the right things, while voting with our choices for the wrong things. The truth is we have a really hard time denying ourselves and as a result we fail to reach our highest goals. The very same is true in our spiritual life.
Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25
Self-denial, of the lesser things in life, is the only path to what we most desire. Don’t let the things you want rob you of what you want most.