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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

The Risks and Responsibilities of Desire

Risk for your desires. And then, carry their responsibilities.

These are the two words that seem to resonate with me when I think about desire in the context of faith.

Risk. Responsibility.

In the past two years, I risked on my desire to write a book. And God has been so good to me and what has been, in all reality, my great cowardice. He nourished my small mustard seed and grew it into something like 60,000 words. In every way, he has proven worthy of the risk—and faithful to the desire I didn’t fully know was from him and felt deeply afraid to own.

“With the mighty deeds of the LORD God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.” Psalm 71:16

I am past the risk of writing the book (although fully poised on the fear of people reading it). But this seems exactly right to me: for now it’s time to move into the responsibilities of desire.

So many people tell us to dream big for Jesus. They are eager for the thrill of the risk.

But how many are calling us, not simply into the risks of desire, but its responsibilities?

Because if you are risking for God, truly risking on the desire to love him and love your neighbor, you will find that desire moves you into obligations.

Those obligations will upset your convenient life, the one you protect and safeguard.

Those obligations will move you, inconveniently, beyond the measure of your self-sufficiency and self-reliance.

They will even arrive in the form of people.

Obligations are hard work. Desire is hard work. How often do we hear that?

I’m in the midst of a very busy month of desire’s hard work. Today, my husband is home for the morning from work so that I can finish one of a string of deadlines (this blog post NOT included).

I look at my calendar and wonder drearily when it will all be over, when life will resume something of its normalcy, when I won’t constantly have to puzzle over my week and wonder how to make time to call a friend. I lament the urgency of the deadlines, the bulk of words I’m required to put to a page.

But the busyness of this month, isn’t it due to the responsibilities for the desire that was given me by God: to understand desire and help it be better understood?

Risk for your desires.

And then, carry your responsibilities.