The other day I came across an interesting piece of advice Ira Glass (of “This American Life”) offered to those who were in “creative” professions and were at the beginning of their career. He noted that a common struggle for creatively talented people is that they find a gap between their desires and their work. They enter a particular field because they have great taste: they know what is really good and what isn’t. And yet they find themselves frustrated, because, as novices, their efforts and accomplishments naturally fall far short of what their taste demands.
Glass’s encouragement is that this taste is far more important than they realize. If frustrated creatives continue to persevere, this sense of what is truly good will help them to continue to refine their work, enabling them ultimately to excel in their fields.
It strikes me that something similar holds true for us as Christians. When Paul prays for the church in Philippi, he prays that their love would abound in such a way that they learn to “approve what is excellent.” He prays that God would change them so that they would desire what is especially good, because this, Paul says, will enable believers to “be filled with the fruit of righteousness.” In other words, a key part of growing as a Christian is having great taste: having the ability truly to know and desire what is really good.
Beginning this Sunday, we as a church will be considering the Lord’s Prayer. It’s important to realize that in this very brief prayer that Jesus teaches us, we’re not just being taught how to pray; we’re being taught how to desire. In giving us this prayer, Jesus is saying to us, “This is what you really want. This is what you truly long for.” Jesus, in this prayer, is equipping us with great taste.
And so our goal in the coming weeks is to allow Jesus to do this work on us—to spend time pondering this prayer in such a way that our desires our transformed, so that our hearts cry out, “Lord, hallow your name and bring your kingdom.”
Would you please pray with me that Christ transforms us through his Word?