Maybe you’ve heard the story about three old friends who were shipwrecked on a deserted island. After nearly a year of being castaways, a bottle floated up on the beach. One of the men opened it, and out popped a genie granting one wish to each of the three friends. Without any hesitation, the first friend said, “I wish I were back home in Knoxville.” Poof! He was gone. The second friend immediately said, “I wish I were back home in Knoxville, too.” Poof! Immediately he was gone. The third man was more deliberate. He told the genie he wanted to think about it a bit longer to make sure he didn’t waste his wish. After a full two months of isolation on the island, he said to the genie, “I’ve reached my decision. Over the past two months I’ve come to realize how much I miss my friends. It’s been so lonely here without them, so I wish my two friends were back here with me.” And poof! (Groan here).
I believe we can all recognized the misplaced desire this man had. The desire for companionship with his friends was noble, but that desire was misplaced if it meant calling them back to the island. But now, before we laugh at this man we had better realize that sometimes, we too have misplaced desires; good and noble desires, but they can be misplaced due to context. Let me offer ten misplaced desires we sometimes have.
- We want a Savior, but we don’t want a Lord.
- We want a crown, but we don’t want a cross.
- We want a harvest, but we don’t want to sow any seed.
- We want to go to Heaven, but we don’t want to go to church.
- We want to grow spiritually, but we don’t want to feed on his word.
- We want Hollywood to “clean up its act,” but we don’t want to stop watching.
- We want the right to pray, even in school, but we don’t want to pray.
- We want the 10 Commandments posted, but we don’t want to live by their moral principles.
- We want to love God, but we don’t want to abhor sin.
- We want to die the death of the righteous, but we don’t want to abandon the lifestyle of the sinner.
The man who wanted his friends to rejoin him on that deserted island was pretty short-sighted, but not nearly as short-sighted as those whose wants are identified above. Give it some thought.