If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
– Jesus, Luke 19:42
Every desire for something externally is an expression of something lacking internally.
There have been many times when, after an exhausting week, all I've desired to do is lie on my couch all day and watch stupid TV. I'm tired, drained, and irritable and I just want to shut off my brain. Often though, once I've had my way, I'm no better off than I was. Still tired, drained, and irritable! That time ends and all I want is another day to be lazy or do something else centered around how I feel (self-centeredness). Why is that?!
I'm realizing that when I get things that I want it rarely satisfies my reason for wanting them in the first place. I often choose shallow solutions to deep needs.
Now when I'm tired, I try taking a deeper look at myself. Why am I tired? What exhausts me most? Why? What is lacking in my extremely overprivileged life that is tiring me out? It usually comes down to an question that only my soul can answer. Once I actually give it the time to do exactly that, my exhaustion silently lifts. The same thing can be applied to when I'm energetic too.
The point is: every desire for something external is an expression of something I lack internally. So, looking externally for peace, joy, love, gentleness, rest, or inspiration is starting in the reverse order.
Once I get this right, I'm far less demanding of my circumstances, surroundings, friends, and family because I've dug down to the root of the issue, within my own heart. And that is where we will always find God's attention being drawn to: The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.
– Jesus, Luke 17:20&21