One of my favorite quotes is from Van Cliburn (see also At All Costs):
I think the most important thing about going into classical music is that one must love it more than anything else in the world, and to feel that without it his life would be incomplete, so that he must have it at all costs, all expense, for the rest of his life.
(Daniel B. Wood, “The Sweet Sounds of Success,” The Houston Post, Wednesday, October 18, 1989).
What do I love more than anything else in the world? What do I want more than anything else? Most of us have mixed desires. We want this … on the other hand we want that. But beneath the mixed desires, what is my heart’s desire? What do I want most of all?
- One day, during a brief stint teaching religion to high school seniors, I made the comment that what makes us happy is not a fancy stereo (this was in olden pre-mp3 days) or cool clothes or a new car. One seventeen-year-old girl raised her hand and said, not in a smart-alecky tone, but very sincerely and obviously rather puzzled, “But that’s what makes me happy!” (She has probably lived long enough by now to know better.)
- We know a woman who is addicted to crack cocaine. What she wants more than anything is crack. She wants it more than she wants light, heat, and water – so all of her utilities have been turned off now for several months.
- On Answerbag.com the question, “What do you want more than anything else in the world?” brings responses ranging from the superficial to the nearly sublime. One person replies, “A brand new Colt SAA .45 cal. Buntline Special with a western holster rig.” Another says, “To be content and know that my actions have affected the world in only positive ways.”
- When God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked what he desired, Solomon requested an understanding heart, “able to discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9). God was pleased with Solomon’s request. If Solomon had gone a bit deeper into his heart, however, he might have gotten in touch with an even more basic love, which for him was expressing itself in the longing for an understanding heart. This is a desire which has been planted in each of our hearts whether or not we know it.
Out of this desire comes the following prayer by Julian of Norwich:
God, of your goodness give me yourself, for you are sufficient for me. I cannot properly ask anything less, to be worthy of you. If I were to ask less, I should always be in want. In you alone do I have all.