One of the key things that will lead to a happy life is when we realize godly desires in our lives. Today's proverb gives us some very wonderful counsel when it comes to realizing the desires that will truly bless us. Let's take a look at this - because it truly is a very important principle when it comes to living a contented, happy life.
Desire realized is sweet to the soul. This easily could be misinterpreted to mean that we are to run after whatever desire rises within our hearts. We know this is not true because we know that our struggle to be godly and to please God has much to do with putting to death the desires that rise out of our flesh - and surrendering ourselves to those which are giving to us by the Holy Spirit. Also the second half of our proverb warns against the man who will not turn away from evil. Therefore we know that these "desires" have boundaries set for them to keep them from being dominated by our flesh.
If all we ever do is dream - and those dreams are not realized in any kind of fulfillment, we will be a miserable soul indeed. God made us so that we have the function of desire - and also that we would dream of things far beyond ourselves. But only a lazy man will dream alone without any kind of fulfillment of those dreams that make his heart burn within him. It is given to us to dream and desire so that we will be moved to action to see those desires fulfilled. Such desires motivate us to DO something. Often the doing is the undoing of many desires and dreams. We are unable or often unwilling to put the effort and the steadfastness into our dreams to see them become reality. Oh, but what sweetness is ours when that desire is realized. Let me illustrate in a couple of examples.
Ever mow your lawn? I dread the start of mowing my lawn. If there was not the reward of a freshly mowed and manicured lawn at the end of that process, I might never address the grass that grows around my house. But when I am finished, I love to stand and look at a lawn that looks good. There is something very sweet about that particular desire realized that seriously motivates me to take up that task. As a pastor I am constantly starting up various projects that we do as a church. There is the desire to see something done that starts the process. Then there is the nuts and bolts work of doing that particular task. Often the details and the work is where we get bogged down in this process. But as we apply ourselves as a fellowship, we are blessed with the desire realized in the end, which is sweet to all those who have given themselves to the task. This is life - and those who follow these paths from the desire stage to the accomplishment at the end know the sweetness of which Solomon speaks.
The second half of our proverb tells us that it is an abomination to fools to turn away from evil. Most projects that are undertaken are for good purposes and plans. The fool though knows nothing of this kind of lifestyle. He thinks too highly of his comfort to actually work toward a goal. The fool is both lazy and undisciplined. For him to realize a desire of his would require him to get up off of his duff and do something. He finds such things an abomination. He would much rather do his own thing - which is usually nothing. The other fact about the fool is that he loves his evil too much to allow God to guide his desires into something positive and helpful. The vast majority of his desires are in a close orbit around himself. Therefore he despises the rebuke and leading of God to break out of a self-centered orbit to explore the vast recesses of what true selflessness could accomplish. Unless he get some sort of selfish pleasure that immediately placates his own love of self - he is not interested. Therefore much of his life is spent either in a short-term immediate pleasure that leaves him empty later - or in wanting things he in no way will be disciplined enough to actually do.
Misery follows the fool wherever he goes. His life is spent wanting much for himself - but gathering realitvely little. The wise man's journey is much different thnough. He spends his life seeking the heart of Another. In seeking the heart of God he finds himself drawn into activities and dreams that both bless others as well as glorifies the One Who placed the ideas and dreams into his heart in the first place. He has the sweetness of desire realized because the One Who put them into his heart also empowers him to see them accomplished. Ah what blessedness lies in that wise path that first receives from and then relies upon God to bring about those things which glorify His great name as well as bless the heart of man.