Monday, March 17, 2014

That Want/Need Thing

I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. 
I'm completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there.  
I do know that it won't be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. 
But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: 
the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.
Acts 20:22-24

But Paul wouldn't budge: "Why all this hysteria? 
Why do you insist on making a scene and making it even harder for me? 
You're looking at this backwards. The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, 
whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience. 
Can't you see that?"
Acts 21:13 Message

I watched my daughter do her Zumba this morning - while I trudged away on the elliptical machine.  I have to admit, her exercise looked like a lot more fun than mine, what with all the shake-y shake-y going on... She's been doing it on and off for a couple of years now.  Of course she follows a very particular routine - I think it's that extra 21st chromosome.

We have to start our day with coffee.  Coffee she makes according to her daily schedule - at 5:00 every night - yes, the night before.  Set on a timer for early early.  I've discovered she's not very conversational before she's had that first cup.  She tells me.  "Mom, I am not awake yet.  I need it, my coffee..."  And I wonder when liking coffee turned into needing it, and for the life of me, trudging away on that elliptical, I can't remember...the liking versus the needing...

I remember her first cup of coffee.  It was a Starbuck's Mocha Frappacino.  My husband bought it for her when we were on an outlet-store-shopping-outing with my parents and Sierra was starting to get those low-sugar grouchies she sometimes gets.

"I'll take her."  He said.

"Ok,"  I answered, wondering what in the world are they up to??

I found out a couple of stores down the way when they caught up to me.  Sierra with her wide-open smile and the dancing eyes.  My army guy with his laughing-behind-the-Oakleys expression.

"Mom, coffee breath."  She breathed on me.  Close and warm.  And, yes - smelling suspiciously like coffee.   "Chocolate Chino,"  she said proudly, showing me the almost-empty Starbucks cup.  The
B-I-G almost-empty Starbucks cup with it's foamy lining of whipped cream.


So, she exercises every weekday morning.  Like clockwork.  With her routine.  Because we've laid down the law in our home.  If you don't exercise, you don't earn a Starbucks on Saturday.  The funny thing is, we don't really worry about the actual exercise she's getting - the deal is really just to get her up and moving.  To get her doing something.  With us.  As a family.  Sometimes it's Zumba, sometimes it's those dance videos.  She has her section of the floor - we have our machines...elliptical, treadmill, rower...

She tried to tell me once that she needed it, her Starbucks.  One morning when she and I had both been 'bad ladies' - when we hadn't even entered the exercise room.  Needed.  When in the world did wanted become needed??

Paul seems to be pretty straight on that want and need thing.  Want is a choice.  Want is nice.  Want is easy.  Want is whipped cream on your coffee.  Want is short-sighted.  Paul's followers were short-sighted.  They only saw what was in it for Paul.  For them.  Paul was on his way to Jerusalem to confer with the church elders - the apostles - and to try to set the growing rift of circumcision versus non-circumcision, legality versus grace to rights.

Need is obedience.

Paul already knew things wouldn't be easy.  He'd already been warned.  He didn't want to be in difficult circumstances.  Yet he went.   He was going because through the Holy Spirit, he was being sent.  He had been given the vision of long-sightedness.  And he trusted in God to deliver.  He needed to go.

Want versus need.

Through Paul's obedience, that new christianity - that new church - became stronger, more resilient, more able to withstand what was to come.

I don't suppose either one of us, my daughter or me, really need our coffee in the morning.  Even when we aren't stellar conversationalists.  And although we may want it, especially on low-sugar, grumpy days, we certainly don't need Starbucks.

But we do need the incredibly extravagant generosity of God...  Thank you, God, for Paul's obedience.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your saints and apostles.  Thank you for those from long ago, and for those who continue to preach and obey - even today - even now.

Linking with Hear It On Sunday, and Monday Musings


  1. It's so wonderful to see you again, Janet! And what a beautiful post on what we want vs. what we need. So great to read your words again.

    1. Thanks Beth! It feels good to be writing again - It's wonderful to see you, as well - I've missed my blog friends! I hope this finds your husband safe and you and your family continue to be in my prayers.

  2. It is inspiring to think of other Christians before us who were faithful and obedient to God's call on their life. Wow...makes me want to be attentive to what God's calling me to do and to be faithful!

    1. I'm not, by nature, obedient. Reading about Paul made me think it's worthwhile when I choose to obey God - even when I don't want to. It helps to know, it helps my faith in Him to know that my obedience is part of His plan - his farsighted plan. Yup - faith and obedience - both lead to joy, right? Janet


I know we probably haven't met in person, but I believe that the sharing of our ideas and thoughts, sometimes our hearts and souls, makes us more than strangers. I would like to say friends. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my little space - I appreciate you.