Monday, March 03, 2008
The Deepest Need, Part Two
What do you need?
In the previous post, I examined a humanistic psychologist's attempt to answer that question. And certainly, Maslow's conclusions are worth looking into. We do have many (if not all) of those needs. But I contend that we have a deeper need, a thread, a pulsing life-line that permeates our lives such that, even should we somehow attain everything on Maslow's Pyramid, we would still find ourselves left wanting…and needing.
Several of you have posted that this need is the need for God. Can't argue that. I believe that each of us are born spiritually dead and stay that way unless we accept Jesus' free gift of eternal life. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be (not: might be) you WILL be saved. We all need God to save us. No argument there.
But I wasn't actually thinking about the need for God to give us salvation. This Need for God that I speak of is not just a need for those who haven't met Jesus yet. This Need for God is for believers too. I know because I am one. This need has become very clear to me over the past six months. You see, during that half year, I've had a few dents added to my Shield of Faith. They haven't really been primary hits, so to speak. My wife and children are all healthy. My parents are aging well. My house seems to be in good shape. Nonetheless, events have transpired, and these events were close enough to knock me around a bit.
In the past six months, I've witnessed the untimely death of two small children. I've seen a young man in the prime of his life who just became a Christian and seemed to turn a corner into really living--be struck down in a freak botched robbery. I've seen one of the Christians I most admire suddenly stumble in sin and be thrown under a bus by his church. And most recently, my own church family just suffered the loss of a young (39yrs) father of six in a tragic automobile accident. I have to tell you, from time to time, I've felt like I'd been kicked in the teeth. But in the midst of all of this, I've come to recognize the need for God in a brand new way. I need God to be supernatural, and I need Him to be perfect. And fortunately, He's both of those and more.
I believe we need God to be supernatural and perfect because everything else in life fails us. The world we live in is broken. A glance at the headlines or down an alley in the "wrong part of town" should prove that unequivocally. But on the deepest, most personal level, those of us who choose to be honest KNOW that there's something wrong. It's right now that we need God, and not just for salvation. We need God because, in Him, much of the world makes sense. In Him, the parts of life that don't make sense can be left to reasoning beyond our comprehension.
When I look at the tiny casket on the altar, I need God to be bigger than I am, smarter than I am, and more good and holy than I could ever be. Some might be tempted to say, "How could an all good and all powerful God let terrible things happen?" There are lots of theological answers for that one: 1. How do we know what "good" and "terrible" actually are? 2. God does not want robots, so He gives us choice. Choice means we can choose evil. 3. God can use all things for good. etc. Those all may be reasonable and true, but I can toss them out and just cling to the fact that God is supernatural and perfect.
This is where the atheist might suggest, "Ah ha! So you admit it: Jesus is your crutch. You weak minded person, you." Funny, I used to get upset when I heard people say such things. But you know what? Jesus is my crutch. He's my blanket too. He's my shield. He's my heavenly Daddy. He's my protector. He's my source of hope. He is everything.
Without any spite, I might say to the atheist: Yes, Jesus is my crutch. What's yours?"
No, I didn't just conjure up Jesus to help me get by. No, I don't just fool myself into believing in a magic being to explain the universe. I know there's plenty of legitimate evidence for the existence of God, for Jesus, for Christianity. I'm not even getting into that. I'm a believer, and that's that. But for those who try to go through life leaning on a different crutch…well, in the end analysis, that's hopeless.
Reminds me of a cool scene from the movie the Matrix. Neo has just been contacted by Trinity and they take Neo on a car ride and try to explain about the Matrix. Neo thinks it's all absurd and starts to get out of the car. The following dialogue ensues:
Trinity: Please Neo, you have to trust me.
Trinity: Because you have been down there Neo, you know that road, you know exactly where it ends. And I know that's not where you want to be.
Somewhere deep down, we've all been down the road of self before. And like Neo, we know very well where the road of self ends. It's not a pretty end.
I need you Jesus
to come to my rescue.
Where else can I go?
That about sums it up for now. More in Part 3.