We’re motivated to love and good works when the fire of desire burns bright within. But all too often we allow our desire to wax and wane depending on external circumstances. And this might leave us feeling impotent in a moment when we need to rise to the occasion. Cultivating our inner spark allows us to be more consistent in our practice of love.
Of course, our desires are motivated by many different factors. And many external realities will captivate and stir the desires of our heart – an image, relationship, experience, or the like invites us to drink deeper. And, to be sure, this is part of the dance. No one is an island entirely to himself. And our deep imaginations and longings are greatly shaped by many realities outside of ourselves.
At the same time, this is not to neglect our inner world and the spark from within. An inner spark of desire allows our love to be internally motivated. It’s finding that part of us that wants to show up and love regardless of how barren things might be on the surface.
For example, this is Christ who loved us while we were still in our sins. He moved toward us with a passionate desire before we showed any love or affection toward him. And he calls us to love one another as he has loved us. This requires us to find and fan our inner spark – faithfully showing up despite the external circumstances otherwise.
To be sure, it’s nice when our desires are fueled both externally and internally. And there’s a place to pursue and fight for external incentives. But we risk becoming ineffective and fickle when our desires depend primarily on factors outside of ourselves. Finding our inner spark allows us to remain true to who God has called us to be in each moment.
Enjoy the many things that bring you delight and fuel your desire. And let your inner spark also burn bright so that your desires are not dependent merely on your external circumstances.