Becoming Filled With Desire

I stood one spring on Mars Hill in Athens, Greece, and as I looked across a small valley to the Acropolis where the remains of the famous Parthenon stood, I remembered a story told about Socrates, the famous Greek philosopher.

It appeared that a young man went to Socrates and inquired how he could obtain the knowledge Socrates possessed. The great philosopher invited the young man to follow him, and they walked until they came to a river. Without pausing, Socrates walked out until the water was chest high, and the young man followed. Socrates grabbed the inquirer, plunged him under the water, and held him there until he passed out. He then dragged him to land and let him lie on the shore.

When the young man came to and his strength returned, he sought out Socrates again and asked, "Why did you do that? I almost lost my life!"

Socrates replied, "While you were under the water, what did you want more than anything else?"

The young man answered, "Air."

Socrates said, "As soon as you want knowledge as much as you wanted air, nothing on the face of the earth can keep you from getting it!"

It is true that our desires determine the course and destiny of our lives. We can tell easily enough how much we wanted something by whether or not we got it. If we really desire righteousness, we will receive it. In quite a real sense, on Judgment Day, we will receive exactly what we lived and worked for. If the verdict given us is less than celestial glory, the Lord won't send an unusually strong angel to carry us screaming and protesting wildly to the terrestrial or telestial kingdom.  We will be pleased to accept quietly the verdict and go to our assigned place because we will have received exactly what we desired.

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