Wasteland Kings

A friend of mine made great point maybe a month ago. We were standing on his lawn when he commented about feeding his heart what it can’t have. His comment was directed at how we compare ourselves with those around us.

This comparison tends to isolate and elevate the things we don’t have. If our friend has a great job, we focus on how great the job is. This leads to daydreaming or fantasizing about how great it would be to have a similar job.

I fall into this trap all of the time. I struggle a great deal with daydreaming about the future. My mind focuses on a future pleasure, peace, or happiness and then I let my imagination take over.

Many times these thoughts find their beginning in witnessing someone else enjoy what I want. My fantasies and daydreams play out for so long that I even forget their beginnings. By this point, I have filled my heart with something I cannot have and hurt myself in the process.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. – Proverbs 4:23

Proverbs says guarding our hearts is important. Daydreaming about something I don’t have involves letting that guard down. I’m inviting big hopes with little certainty into my heart.

Some of those big hopes might lie in my future. That doesn’t matter though. I don’t know for sure they will come.

I do know I can’t enjoy those sources of pleasure, peace, and happiness today. This means my daydreams and fantasies set me up for a big letdown. As Proverbs says, a hope deferred makes the heart sick. (Proverbs 13:12)

My heart is not always bound by logic and reason. When I daydream about a future vacation, it wants to enjoy it today! I can’t pack my bags right now and head out with a fun filled group of people to a tropical location though.

This means daydreams cause my heart to go through roller coasters.

I get excited about the idea of a dream vacation. Then I recognize it’s not happening today or in the immediate future. The fall back down to reality is now a long way down.

My landings from the falls are at times what is known as the ‘crash style’.

A hard crash can lead to frustration, anxiety, and doubting God cares about me. Those three things are a powerful cocktail. They’ve lead me to thinking about porn and other bad habits more than a few times.

Back in the day, they would led me like a lamb to the slaughter towards porn. I can remember a specific example where I had a huge crush on a girl. One night she made it clear the feelings weren’t mutual.

It hit me deep. Within days, I was knee deep in one of my worst seasons of giving into my porn addiction. It’s seasons like that one which make me grateful for the freedom God has given me now.

My problem wasn’t having a crush on a girl or feeling disappointed. My problem was I built up the idea of the relationship by daydreaming about it. The daydream sat in the back of my head for months and months and became larger each day. 

Then the eyes of a woman burned my dream to ashes.

My heart might’ve been able to survive this without the diet of daydreams. The diet caused me to build hopes on top of hopes. What started as a wish became a Jenga tower of hopes.

 When those were dashed, the tower of hopes fell and I become very sick. I wanted anything that would make me feel better. Porn felt like a good idea because it also combatted the pain of rejection.

Being turned down by a girl is not the only way to feel rejected either. Not getting the desires of our hearts can feel like God is rejecting us. If we accept this lie, a multitude of idols and sins become quite attractive.

They lead us away from the life giving love of Christ and into more pain, frustration, and disappointment.

God doesn’t recommend we place our hope in Him because of vanity. He does it because it’s the best way to feed our hearts. God’s love is unconditional, never ending, and gives us the life our hearts desire

 We can go to him at any time no matter what we’ve done. He showers us with mercy, compassion, and gets excited when we engage with him. Our relationship with him offers more peace and pleasure than anything else.

It also teaches our hearts to lean on something reliable we can enjoy everyday. I can’t sit on a beach today. I can dive deep into the richest relationship ever known to mankind. 

What are you feeding your heart today? Do you ever struggle with daydreams or fantasies? Do you know what it’s like to feed yourself with God’s personal love?

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Matthew Rial

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