By John Eldredge
By Jordan Sparnroft
I found this book at my local dumpster. I immediately recognized the author as the one who wrote Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. I assumed it was geared toward those who are always looking for the next experience and struggled with contentment. My assumption was wrong.
The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life We’ve Only Dreamed Of is not only for those who can never have enough experiences or stuff but it’s also for those who struggle to aspire at all (ashamedly raising my hand).
Valentine’s gifts fill the first aisles we see as we walk into our favorite stores. Immediately, the craving to be loved, adorned with gifts, appreciated for who we are, and told we are loved rages within us. Eldredge takes a chapter or two to delve into the desire we all have in common—to be loved. The craving to be loved is not wrong. It’s God-given (as are most of our desires, though not all). He describes in a captivating way how all the good desires in this life are smudged mirrors reflecting to us just a portion of the beauty of perfect and complete fulfillment which awaits us in eternity.
This book goes so much deeper than all of our innate aspirations to be loved. God is a God of desire. He yearns for us. He created us to hunger and thirst. The church has been shamed throughout the years for having desires, saying “You should be content” and “How dare you want more!”
Eldredge delves into the principle of contentment and longing and how neither are wrong. As he states in this book, “…at its core, Christianity begins with an invitation to desire.” He references the many times Jesus performs miraculous acts of healing. More often than not, Jesus’ first question before healing someone is, “What do you want?” God wants us to “want” but how we position and view those “wants” in our lives is key.
Are your desires becoming idols? Are you even daring to desire at all? Most importantly, Eldredge digs into the deeper roots of our longings and how they relate to our deepest longing, which is eternity in Heaven with our Creator.
I’m the most indecisive person I know. It’s crippling. It takes me SO MUCH TIME to decipher what I like and what I don’t like, what I want and don’t want. I can never really seem to nail down my desires. As an almost 30-something-year-old, I’m just now starting to realize I’ve suppressed a lot of my desires. I have felt unworthy to desire certain things or experiences. Thoughts like, “That’s only for those types of people or people that make X amount of money” or “I could never do that” or “I’m not good at anything.” The list of excuses to NOT desire goes on and on.
The Journey of Desire encouraged me to get to the root of why I refuse to desire as well as pinpointing my desires which have become idols overtime. Eldredge gives sound biblical advice and counseling for the healing of desire. I view my lack of longing as an area in need of healing with the lens of eternity and being an image bearer of a God who desires deeply.
“Christianity recognizes that we have desire gone mad within us. But it does not seek to rectify the problem by killing desire, rather, it seeks the healing of desire, just as it seeks the healing of every other part of our human being.” —John Eldridge, The Journey of Desire, p. 46
Eldredge, John. The Journey of Desire: Searching for the Life You’ve Always Dreamed Of. Nelson Books, an Imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2016.
About Jordan: Lives in historic central Virginia with her husband and daughter. She is a first grade teacher at a Christian school, and loves early mornings and spending time with her family.