What is a “burning desire?”
Some in our group have a problem understanding what a "burning desire" is. I am not sure and cannot find it anywhere. It would be nice to say with confidence what is is. I myself was just informed it was an "urgent desire for a drink or other unhealthy behavior." Others think it is a desire to talk some more.
Dictionaries show the old phrase "burning desire" means (1.) Characterized by intense emotion; passionate: a burning desire for justice, or (2.) Of immediate import; urgent: "the issues that seem so burning in Washington" John F. Kennedy.
Our assumption here is that you are referring to a question often posed to the group as a meeting nears its end. A common custom is to ask "does anyone have a burning desire before we close the meeting?"
The origins of asking this will not be found in A.A. literature and likely is not something limited to the AA fellowship. A.A. does not have any written guidance about what the phrase means.
As is the case with most of the content of meetings, what is said in closing a meeting is entirely
up the individual group. A.A. is set up with each group being the highest authority over how thing are conducted.
Asking if there is a "burning desire" is simply a common custom and/or courtesy. If a group would care to define it for their own purposes they would be free to do that.
We think it would be fair to say that most of the time the implied purpose seems to be to give the opportunity for someone who feels they have something important to say but hadn't had the chance; something stronger than a simple desire to speak.