Luke 24:13-32
This is Jesus heartburn(I have to credit Dallas Willard for this term!)...31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Friday, March 25, 2011

I NEED Mexican Food...RIGHT NOW!

I have a confession to make…something that won't surprise you all…I'm not very good at the blogging thing! I think about it during the day, and often come up with GREAT things to write about at night…but when I sit down to write, there is nothing there…it's like my words have gone the way of all the liquid in my body…sweated right out. So I'm going to try something new and I'm going to tell you about it in hopes that it will hold me accountable! I am planning to write 4 times a week with a different focus each time…on Mondays I'll tell you a story about the kids or what's happening at the Covering…on Wednesdays I'll share with you some funny things that have happened to me (seriously, there are quite a few of those!)…on Fridays I'll write about what I'm learning (I'm not promising anything profound)…and over the weekend I'm gonna write about one of our amazing staff members. I got this idea from a blog I read and she has very spiritual, deep titles for her days and I noticed someone else doing it and his titles were way catchy and neat-o…to be that creative!  I'm just going to see if I can stick to a schedule; HA! 

The counselor and I had a good laugh last night…I came out of the girls room at the Guest House shaking my head at being asked for yet another something…it seems that all they do some days is ask for things! Aunty Cari, we need ____________! Last night it was shelves, and what made me laugh was the realization that we'd given them so much stuff that they didn't have enough shelf space to put it on…and then I realized that if I gave them a shelf they'd ask for more stuff because they would find it 1/2 empty and pretty soon the room that was a blessing a few months ago because there is a real bed in it and the space is only shared with a few others and not 25 would become to small and cramped! 

Honestly, the laugh started out as annoyance…I'm tired of constantly being asked for stuff!  It turned into some what of a rant about what my time is often consumed with in SL…requests for help, stuff, money, food, more, more, more…but when I stopped to really think (Duncan reminded me really) that we all struggle with the difference between want and need…that it's a privilege to help meet needs to the point where people actually have the space to want…and then need to be taught the difference! I spend MANY Sunday's in America talking with children about the difference between want and need, using the children I'd met in Africa as examples…and now I'm realizing that I need to teach these blessed children in Africa the difference between want and need…and I come up short…because I don't know the difference. 

Right now I'm staring at a picture of a meal at Chipotle some lovely friend of mine pasted on Facebook (THANKS A LOT!) and thinking that I NEED Chipotle…but it's only a want, right!?! There are basic things that we as humans need…food, oxygen, water, love…and I can honestly tell you that I have never been in a place where I didn't have those needs met…other than a few times as a child, when asthma made getting oxygen VERY difficult and I remember struggling for breath…I really don't know what it is like to be in need. I do know that after I got air again I quickly forgot what it was like to need.

But these beautiful children in Sierra Leone can teach me about being in need…and about trusting. They know what it is like to NEED…and I wonder, is it because of grace that they've forgotten need…is it really not the difference between want and need that is important…but the difference lies in where we take our wants and needs?

If I am in need or want and I TRUST God with it…I tell Him, "Lord, I'd really like______________, what do you think?" and I listen will I not discover a Father who wants to shower me with EVERY GOOD AND PERFECT GIFT (James 1:17)? If instead, I strive and grasp for what I need and want…trying by all means to get it for myself…or being ashamed of it attempt to hide it from God and those around me…will I not find myself in a place of either getting that which I should not have had OR living in continual discontent?

So, what am I saying through all this rambling? That I'm learning that we all have wants and needs…that only God knows how to meet them in ways that will bring us life and not death (sin)…and that when I encounter requests for things (like shelves or curtains or candy or Chipotle) I can stop and say "Thank you God, that you have met our needs so that we have space to want! Help us to remember to TRUST first and give us the freedom of contentment!"


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  2. A quote I found recently: "The proper aim of giving is to put the recipients in a state where they no longer need our gift." C.S. Lewis