wants & needs

Category : God, faith


It’s funny how quickly wants turn into needs.  Not because their value becomes greater.  Or that your want becomes more important.  But because you convince yourself that your want really should be a need.

With all the writing projects I have been doing, including my newest venture, Meaning to Work, I have a lot of stuff happening.  But this work isn’t all my own projects.  A good portion of it is through volunteer positions, including teaching a class at a local church while also writing a year long mentoring program for people in poverty.

As the old saying goes, there are only so many hours in the day.  Which means the more writing I have the more organized I must become.  That’s just a basic law of productivity.

Because of all this writing, I’ve been thinking I need a new desk to work on.  The one I have is from college.  It was small then, and it’s smaller today.  Or maybe it just feels smaller.  Either way it just doesn’t really cut it in the productivity department.  So I’ve been dreaming of getting a nice big desk with drawers and places to stack my work.

This dream is not helped by my frequent visits to Ikea.

As I think about this new desk, I keep telling myself how it would improve my productivity.  How, really, if I get this desk I will be a better writer than I am now.  (I suspect some of you are taking up a cash donation now).  Ever so slowly I have convinced myself that the only way to become more productive is to have a new desk.

That’s when it struck me – I have turned a want into a need.  And I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Wanting a new desk isn’t wrong.   Improved desk space is a nice thing.  Better productivity is wonderful.  The problem is a new desk is a want, not a need.  How do I know this?  Because Paul wrote many letters from prison.  He wrote much of the New Testament that way.  I’m sure Paul would have loved a nice desk, Microsoft Word, and a comfy chair.  But that’s not what he had.  Yet he accomplished a lot, with a lot less.

It’s a bit scary how easy it is to slide from a want into a need.  It’s often so subtle that we don’t even notice.  So what, in your life do you think you need, but in reality it’s only a want?

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