“I don’t want anything, I have all I need.” How many fifteen year-olds do you know who would say this? Yet that was my granddaughter’s repeated response when loving relatives and friends asked, “What do you want for Christmas?”
Thinking back on my own teen years, I had a ten item list of potential gifts stored in my head and ready to recite upon the asking. It never occurred that I had all I needed; I was focused on what I wanted. Just how many of us reach adulthood, unable to separate our wants from our needs?
It was 47 degrees out and the car heater wouldn’t kick in fast enough, so I turned on the seat warmer and within seconds, had a warm toasty body. Who needs a seat warmer in Florida?
My friend just remodeled his kitchen and demonstrated with pride the cabinet doors and drawers. “You don’t have to hold on to close them, they shut themselves with just a tap of the fingers.” Who needs self-closing cabinet doors?
And how many women do you know who groan, “My closet is such a mess, there’s nowhere to put anything. I have eight outfits with the tags still on.” Who needs eight unworn outfits?
We Westerners love the newest, the trendiest, the most expensive grownup toys. They feed our indulgent desires and give us something to show off with pride. But how many of us would take my fifteen year-old granddaughter’s response: “I don’t want anything, I have all I need.”
Perhaps it’s time to shift our focus away from our wants to other people’s actual needs. Whenever our eyes crave another unnecessary indulgence, instead of reaching for our credit card, why not reach for our checkbook and donate the sticker price to a reputable organization to feed the hungry.
We can feed one child, one family, one village at a time by declaring
“I have all I need … I offer you the gift of life.”