Friday, May 25, 2018

A Heart’s Desire by C. Kevin Thompson

C. Kevin Thompson

My wife has been reading Jen Hatmaker’s book, Interrupted. She’s been reading me excerpts that have caused her to pause and examine her life. Generally speaking (because I have not read the book), Hatmaker challenges the reader to examine a life of luxury, comfort, and ministering to the saved only. It asks crucial questions about how we Americans live our lives, especially those of us within the sanctuary walls.

Of course, this “debate” is as old as the church herself. It actually predates the church and can be found in the Old Testament as well. Israel was blessed over and over again, only to wish God away for earthly kings and foreign gods. The Sanhedrin was nothing more than an Israeli form of our Congress in Washington, D.C., with liberals and conservatives, duking it out politically and religiously, all the while making sure their well-to-do lifestyle wasn’t negatively impacted.

It’s a constant trouble for those who live in affluent cultures, isn’t it? Having been born in one myself, like many of you reading this blog, it’s all I’ve even known. Sure, we’ve moved around from state to state. We’ve had very little. We’ve had plenty. But regardless of the situation or the time in our lives, God has always provided. His supply was not relative to our situation.

I remember one Christmas when our oldest daughter was just a toddler. We literally had $20 to spend on Christmas. For the whole family of three. I remember buying my wife a bag of mini-snickers (one her favorite candy bars) and individually wrapping each one before placing them in her stocking. It was about the quantity of the solace that year. Stretching that $20 in ways we’ve never done since. And yet, we remark about how that is one of our most beloved memories. It wasn’t about the gifts. It was about the giving. It wasn’t about the stockings or the stacks of presents. It was about the sacrifice.

So, after having a discussion with Cindy about Jen Hatmaker’s book late into the night not too long ago, I was on my way to work the next morning. The conversation made me wonder about my “heart” when it comes to this writer’s life we blog about here at SW. One of the desires of my heart (cf. Psalm 37:1-4) has always been “to be able to write full-time.” To have this “Plan B,” hobby-sort-of-thing—that has turned into a second job—flourish enough to let me dwell in green pastures with my laptop resting…, well, on my lap….while I sit on a balcony overlooking the ocean…or against an old oak tree in the middle of a forty acre swath of the Smoky Mountains.

But to realize this “dream” (some would call it “the America Dream”), I would have to give up being an assistant principal at a middle school.

A Christian AP at a public middle school.

Some would say the mission field doesn’t get any more fertile than right there.

Jen Hatmaker would probably say that God has me right where He wants me, so why would I want to do anything else? Why would I want to walk away from such a plentiful harvest as this?

Could it be because the affluent trappings of my society have encapsulated (some would probably argue “handcuffed”) my notions of what’s important? In an ever-increasing, darkening world, where more and more homes are broken, where more and more children are classified as homeless, where it seems the world is bent on burning itself to the ground, could it be that my heart’s desire is overriding God’s? And isn’t that usually what happens in affluent societies?

I’m sure I know God and His Word well enough to know this: He’s not in the business of crushing our dreams or our heart’s desire. He just wants them to align with His Will first. To do this is to walk in the footsteps of Christ. Jesus was sent to this groaning creation for the sole purpose of doing the will of God (John 6:35-40). That “Will” was to see to it that whosoever may come could do so.

So, maybe, like Jesus, my heart’s desire must become God’s desire. My will must bend to God’s until it is gloriously broken. And then, and only then, will my heart’s desire be granted.

But that’s the rub, isn’t it? When our will breaks, and God’s will overtakes us, does our “heart’s desire” (e.g., my desire to be a full-time writer on an ocean balcony) truly die? Or does it start to maneuver itself and argue, like it is some kind of hostage negotiation?

If I am truly following Christ, “my will” must be taken up daily, dragged up the hill to Golgotha, and put to death so that I may truly live (Luke 9:23-26).

A Clandestine Mission.
A Cryptic Message.
A Chaste Promise.

Blake Meyer dreamed of a peaceful end to a dutiful career with the FBI. Married now, his life was taking him in a new direction—a desk job. He would be an analyst. Ride it out until retirement. Be safe so he could enjoy his grandchildren some day.

But when a notable member of the IRA is murdered in a London flat, Blake’s secretive past propels him into the middle of a vindictive, international scheme so hellish and horrific, it will take everything Blake possesses—all of it—to save the United States from the most diabolical terrorist attack to date.

C. KEVIN THOMPSON is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a kid at heart. Often referred to as “crazy” by his grandchildren, it’s only because he is. He’s a writer. Need he say more?

The first three books of his Blake Meyer Thriller series are out! Book 1, 30 Days Hath Revenge and Book 2, Triple Time, are available! Book 3, The Tide of Times, just released in October! All three are on sale through New Year’s Eve! Also, the second edition of his award-winning debut novel, The Serpent’s Grasp, is now available!

Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too. It’s quite elementary, actually.

Kevin’s Writer’s Blog:
Facebook:                              C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Twitter:                                  @CKevinThompson
Goodreads:                            C. Kevin Thompson