My Wants and Needs

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You may be aware that I write a scriptural meditation that is posted elsewhere Thursday of each week. As I was composing this week's meditation, a thought occurred to me. The Gospel Reading for Thursday had a particularly provocative lilne, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." It followed in thought--He knows what I need better than I do myself.

I am confused between my wants and my needs. I want to be in union with God's will. Is that presently a need? It seems desirable in this world to be so, and it will ultimately be necessary to enjoy the beatific vision. But do I need that, or is that merely a desire on my part? Do I need the food I eat, or do I merely want it? I'm not speaking about sustaining life, but about eating as Americans tend to eat here and now--enough and more.

I do not know what I need, except ultimately I need God. I think that is called a remote need or perhaps a final need, if I understand the terminology. But what are the proximate needs or means to that end? I don't know.

And this not knowing is in come way culpable. I have not looked hard enough, nor have I spent enough time discerning what it is I need. I do not know the interior landscape so well as I thought I did, and perhaps I need some time wandering this howling waste to make out the contours--what gives life to desires, what calls me home to God. I do not know.

But what I do know about the matter is a great consolation. My Father knows what I need and if I humble myself before Him (and perhaps even if I don't) He will provide it. However, if I do humble myself before Him, I will begin to recognize what I need, embrace it, and live the life of joy that comes from true service and true alignment with God's will. So long as I continue in my prideful way, I will fail to see anything and continue not to be able to separate my needs from my wants--and this way is purgatory here and hereafter. Directionless, waffling, pushed by every minor breeze. And as a son of the Living God, I do not need to accept that fate. Instead I can claim my inheritance by relying upon His grace.

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Dear Steven
Once in a rare while I get to skulk about your rant for a gem or two. Of course my antennae focused reading this entry of yours. Interesting, the human desire for the Divine... to know better the Source and Sustenance of our existence. Regretfully the vast majority of those with whom I've spoken, verbalize their wants as needs. In my own experience, my needs are incredibly simple and few--maybe just one need: The One--coming from my disire to be at one with the only One. My wants are, otoh, are manifold and of minor consequence except that they may (or will) affect my final outcome.

That's the scary part!

To me, it raises this question: just how important are my wants? Ultimately, if I think this thru--well at least for the current brief moment--my wants should be only for what focuses me on the Almighty, what brings me closer and quieter, that I might listen to Him. To me, that is prayer, my prayer, my wants merging into my one need.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 15, 2004 9:48 AM.

Debatable, But Interesting, Points was the previous entry in this blog.

Prideful Contours is the next entry in this blog.

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