As I was getting ready to post my blog on “Wants v. Needs” I received an email by the same title. A little uncanny. It had some really great points so I asked the author, Joy Walker, if I could post it in today’s blog. Joy is studying Law at Regent University (though currently on a medical hiatus) and is the director of the Hampton Roads Chapter of NatCapLyme, a Lyme Disease awareness organization.
Wants v. Needs, by Joy Walker
As some of you know, this Christmas my primary present was a set of new bedroom furniture. My mother had intended to give me my grandmother’s bedroom furniture after her death in 2008, but upon closer inspection we felt that it was not worth the effort and expense of moving it from New Jersey given all the damage it suffered in the nursing home. So in late November I finally got adult-sized furniture to replace the child-sized bedroom set I’ve had my whole life. It’s been a tremendous blessing in terms of making my room more organized and less cluttered. In other words, it is a gift that I needed as much or more than I wanted it, not just another toy I will soon lose amidst life’s clutter!
My grandparents’ generation, growing up during the Depression and World War II, is probably one of the last large groups of Americans who remember receiving Christmas presents they needed more than desired. For instance, my grandmother used to look forward to Christmas as the “big” opportunity to receive a new coat or a new pair of shoes – and not much more. To receive a basic commodity like new, warm clothing was the thrill of the calendar year. Forget about fancy electronics or all the other luxuries we covet nowadays . . .
As a culture, we have probably lost something as we have moved from gifting ourselves with mere luxuries rather than necessities. Which gift would you appreciate more – food, clothing, or some other necessity you really needed to survive, or another trinket to add to your pile of luxuries? Our grandparents knew much more about the former than most Americans today!
I think it’s a principle which ties into the truth of Christmas – God gave us a Present we might not want, but we really need. And sometimes, the gifts we really need are not the things we most want — but the need persists. The world did not want Christ at all, and it still does not – there is still no room at the inn of most people’s hearts — but that does not change our individual need for Him!
Recently, I came across this poem by Dayspring’s founder Roy Lessin which captures the same idea eloquently. Enjoy!
If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Saviour.