Yesterday I wrote about Desire as being something negative, as being akin to greed and avarice. In Orthodox Christian theology we would label that type of desire as “prelyast”, meaning something that possesses us and holds us hostage. But desire can also be positive. Take for example my desire to move to the Big Island in 2019, which is akin to a carrot dangling before me leading me on.
So what is it that makes desire either positive or negative? What determines the morality of our desire is dependent upon the direction in which that desire leads us. If it causes us to circle back into ourselves, thinking only of ourselves, then that type of desire would definitely be prelyast since self-centeredness is hell in the here-and-now. If desire enables us to move out from ourselves in some way then it is positive in that it allows us to travel in the direction of all spiritual growth… outward and away from ourselves. In terms of my moving to the Big Island, that desire is amplified by my wanting to assist the parish family of our small mission there, St. Juvenaly Mission in Kailua-Kona.
When our desire moves us out of ourselves, it gives the universe a better chance of informing us of what needs to come next in our life. That “next” may be coming into contact with others, helping others, being an example for others. When we start to listen to what God has to tell us in the realties of each given day we slowly discover what the next one or two footsteps need to be… and that is direction enough.
Within each day are needs which will lead us onto the needs of the next and then the next. When people live this way quite often by the time they reach the end of their earthly lives, they discover in looking back at the trail of days behind them they have traveled a route they would never have planned but which they are happy to have taken.
The heart is always speaking to us, revealing what desires need to be matured and what desires need to be expressed. Are we listening?