Just One Word:  Reside & Desire

Just 1 3Just One Word:  Reside & Desire

Lora Parsons

The Ashland Beacon

For the last few months, this column has focused on--as the title suggests--just one word.  We’ve dug deep, deconstructed, and delved into various definitions.  So, I figured maybe it was time to switch it up just a little bit.  We’re going to focus this time around on just one single GROUP of LETTERS…which can be scrambled into two distinct words:  reside and desire.

My first thought when I hear the word “desire” is the phrase:  do what your heart desires.  Do what makes you happy.  Live your best life.  Be your best self.  All of those phrases flood forward in my mind at once when thinking about satisfying what we individually want.  As we’ve done before, though, we can deconstruct this word into de-sire (like we did de-serve last month).  The definition of “sire” is to cause the birth of, to bring into existence, in a sense.  Specifically and literally, it’s the male parent of an offspring.  We know that the prefix “-de'' means to undo or move away from.  When the prefix and root word come together, they make new meaning, though.  They somehow go from meaning literally “to undo the existence of,” to instead, the meaning we’re familiar with: “my wants.”  That’s thought number one about this particular array of letters, spelling out “desire.”  It should mean “to eliminate, to kill.”

But, then we mix up those letters and rearrange them, and they yield the word “reside,” which we can also break into word parts.  “Side” has to do with which location you’ve taken physically, as in left or right of the sidewalk, for example, but it also means the location of one’s thinking or beliefs, as in whether we’re for or against repainting our car, let’s say.  “Side” in these senses connects to our position in the world or the position of our thinking based on our worldview.  The prefix “re-” means to do again or to change over.  To “re-” side, then, doesn’t mean to exist in a particular place or in a certain state as we know it to mean.  Rather, when you lump the individual meanings side by side, it seems like the word might mean something more like “ to choose a position over again.”  To re-make-up one’s mind about something.  It no longer means sitting in one’s thoughts or beliefs, but to reposition one’s thoughts or beliefs.

When we look at these new meanings side by side, I think something pretty cool happens.  These two words, made up of the same six letters, in two different orders, and with different deconstructed parts, change things so that “desire” no longer means “what I want” but instead means “to eliminate or kill what I want” and to “reside” no longer means “to continue in a particular state” but instead “to reposition my thought state.”  When I reside in my own desires, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of thinking this world is all about me.  I can identify what I want.  I can identify where I can go to get it.  I can identify what I need in order to get what I want.  And, I can easily fixate on making that happen…because that makes me happy.  It satisfies my desires.  I can focus on me, me, me, and I can reside in that happy place of deciding I want something and getting that something.

But, at this time of year, with Easter just barely in our rearview mirror, when we look closely at the life of Jesus and how He taught us to live, we don’t have to look far to see that the example before us didn’t focus on “me, me, me.”  Jesus’ life wasn’t about how He could satisfy His own desires.  He didn’t walk away from sacrificing His own life, because His purpose was glorifying His Father.  He re-sided his wants and desires--repositioned them--and traded them out in exchange for His Father’s will.  He put the will of God before His own.  He willingly chose to walk away from the satisfaction of His own wants, and instead repositioned His desires to be beneath those of the Father.  We see this play out in action and in word when He’s praying in the garden just before being crucified.  In Luke 22:42, He, in agony, prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”  There was no humanly part of Jesus that was looking forward to experiencing the cross; but, there was the divine part of Him, the holy part of Him, that was singularly focused on following the will of God.  He didn’t reside in His own desires.  He humbly positioned Himself to be in line with His Father’s will.  He first laid down his divine nature to enter into humanity, and then He walked willingly into death on a cross in order to save that humanity.  Because that was the will of His Father.  We’re called to do the very same--to lay aside our desire and reside instead in the Father’s will.  What I want has to be repositioned beneath what He wants.  I have to de-sire or “eliminate…kill” my own satisfaction and instead re-side or “reposition myself” to satisfy the Father’s will.  And, what is His will for each of us?  The same as was His will for Jesus--for us to bring others to Him.  To serve others, as Jesus did.  To share the Father’s love with those around us, as Jesus did.  To show the world God in us, as Jesus did when He stepped into humanity.  To speak Biblical Truth in love as we live out that Truth.  Our job is to reflect the Father in all we do.  There’s no need to ask, then, “What is Your will for my life?”  We already know it.  The better question is:  “How can I fulfill Your will today in whatever I do?”  Father, help me to put aside my DESIRE and instead RESIDE in Yours so that the world can see more of Jesus.  One little set of six letters, making up this month’s two little words.

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