Oh, those four little words can be expressed in so many different ways! In acting class, I was taught to emphasize different words- What do you WANT?; phrases- What DO YOU want?; to deliver the line with no emotion- whatdoyouwant? or with great emotion WHAT. DO. YOU. WANT? Of course, there is a myriad of levels in between these extremes. It is a great theater game for actors.

Game or no game, what we want is often difficult to get. Frustration over people and circumstances could wear us out. But, sometimes- now stay with me- we are the problem. Sometimes we fight ourselves. Remember a guy named Ben Stein? He said something that grabbed my attention several years ago: “The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.”

Sounds like a no-brainer? But oh, maybe not! Many, many people are so lost that they just react to life. Responding, reacting, accommodating, regrouping; these are all defensive. What is needed is a proactive offense. Clarity. You may want what other people have, but who are they? What “they” want keeps changing. How much is enough? The classic answer is “Just a little bit more.” Really?

What do you want? New Years Eve Resolutions are little more than a joke these days, so why not do it now? We are close to a new year, but why not now, whenever you are reading this? Oh, and “Losing twenty pounds” isn’t a goal. It may be a step to reaching your goal- better health, better self-image. Decide what you want. “Being popular” is not a goal, but it may point you to what you really want- feeling valued, appreciated.

Here’s a newsflash in case you need it: No, you cannot have it all. Personally, I live in a good part of the United States. God has clearly given me all of my needs, and a great many of my wants. I’m good. I have challenged my congregation to define what they want. How about you? Can you define what you are about?

I don’t care how young or old you are, the clock is ticking. Why wait? What do you want?