When I married my husband, I was introduced to the idea of "Wish Lists." These are running lists of things we want as gifts. We add to The List whenever we think of something we want that we don't need to (or shouldn't) buy rightthissecond, and then when a birthday or holiday comes around, family members ask for The List. It works pretty well. We still get surprises, of course, but having The List ensures that you'll get at least one thing you really want on a gift-giving occasion.
I hate surprises. It's a control issue. I'm totally fine with people buying exactly what's on my list and not going rogue. I think it's hilarious that some family members put "Surprises!" on their List. You'll never see that on my List. And I don't want to risk someone not liking the present I chose, so I'm one to buy straight from The List. Also, I can get my Christmas shopping done all in one day on Amazon.com if I have everyone's Lists. One. Day. It's totally awesome.
There are two kinds of things that go on The List: things we want and things we need. My husband's List is almost entirely things he needs: guitar strings, tools and equipment, socks, dress pants for work. I hate my husband's List. If I can find the one or two fun things on there—like a CD or grilling books/equipment—I claim those first. My List, on the other hand, is mostly things I want. I collect White House and Mount Vernon Christmas ornaments, so those are always on there. I love gift cards, too, although people don't seem to want to buy those as much as wrap-em-up gifts. The only need thing on there is a gift card to Sephora, which is where I buy my everyday makeup. But I love Sephora, so even that can still be considered a want gift.
Have you ever made The List for your faith? Things you want and things you need? The things we need are listed in the Bible for us. Fruits of the Spirit and whatnot show that we are, in fact, Christians, so those are a need. Having a good relationship with God is a need. Grace is a need. But what are the things you want in your faith?
I want passion. I want God to show me my next steps sooner rather than later. I want to love others without hesitation (but with conditions). I want to worry less and pray more. I want my faith to compel others to action. Heck, I want my faith to compel me to action.
Could I get by without these things? Yep. We all have, even intermittently. These aren't crucial to our experience of God or the forgiveness Jesus provides us. But without them, our faith can be disappointing to us. And maybe to God. He might look at me and say, "Boy, if Rachel just had these things, imagine how much more she could do!"
I'm not all about the greed. I'm really not. I don't like having a List of material "wants" a mile long. But maybe I need to be more greedy about my faith—making lists of what I want my faith to look like and then working with God to get those things. I can't imagine he'd be opposed to that. And if that's where our heart is, maybe he'll even throw in a few surprises—good ones, since, you know, he's God.
What would be on The List of wants for your faith?