What Do You Need Right Now?
January 17, 2018
by Ken Jones
My wife and I will be in a meeting this week. We’re a little late this year scheduling our ‘meeting,’ as we had guests in our home over the New Year holiday, and it’s taken us this long to ‘clear the deck’ and be able to focus on what’s become an annual calendar event: It’s what we call our ‘Where have we been, what do we need, and where are we going this year’ conversation.
I suppose lots of folks do this kind of activity every year, making resolutions, plans, and outlines of how they hope the coming months unfold. My wife and I will address some basic questions as we enter our meeting:
What went well for us this past year?
What were some of our disappointments?
What did we learn or where did we grow this year?
We’ll record the answers, as part of our way of documenting ‘Where we’ve been this year.’
The second session of our meeting will involve listing what we’d like to see happen in this coming year, in several areas of our lives:
- Review last year, examine what we wanted to see happen that didn’t happen, determine if it should be carried over to this year.
- What needs to happen in our marriage/family this year?
- What needs to happen in our home life/projects/honey-dos?
- What needs to happen in our ministry, individually and together?
Those, along with several other questions will be a part of our imagining what this coming year needs to contain, acknowledging all along the way that God is in control of all our plans, and we will seek Him for guidance and leading.
And then—after we’ve looked at where we’ve been, and where we’d like to be—we will ask ourselves one final, weighty question:
“What do we need right now, today, where we are?”
Our basic needs are being met, wonderfully. We don’t need food, shelter, clothing; what we would identify as ‘basic’ needs. We have all those things, and in ample supply. (Although we might ‘want’ for more-of or different –than that which we have, that ‘wanting’ is not out of true need. I might want a different car, but I don’t need a different car.) No. In most important physical ways, we have what we need.
That is not to say, however, that we have no need. The great question we will wrestle with in our ‘meeting’ is not deciding what we don’t need, but rather, determining what we do need.
I’m already preparing that list for myself:
- I need more self-discipline.
- I need to establish and develop key friendships.
- I need more ‘structure’ in my life.
- I need a deeper dependence on God.
Those declaratives are just for starters. And I know my wife will have a list of her own. After we’ve listed those ‘needs,’ we’ll do a ruthless evaluation of how we’re prepared to respond to our own needs. How much time and energy are we prepared to devote to pursuing the answers to those needs? And, perhaps even more importantly, what might be on our list of things we’d like to see happen this year that stands in contradiction to our list of ‘needs?’ Will I waste time trying to accomplish something this year that is antithetical to what I truly need?
Rom. 14:17 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of meat or drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” What comes into your mind when you ask yourself the question, “What do I need right now?”
If your answer is truly about shelter or warmth or food or provision, I hope you find it soon. If loneliness or longing are a part of your need, my prayer would be that this year, your need would be bountifully met.
But if you’re like my wife and me, those most basic needs have already been met. Perhaps what you need right now centers more on what one writer called a ‘search for significance.’ Physical possessions are often not what most of us need right now. We need something more lasting, and important, and substantial. Yes, more significant. As you answer the important questions about where you’ve been in the past several months, and where you’d like to go in the next several months, may you find joyful freedom in the discovering of His plan, and pursuing it…every day.