God may not have needs, but does have wants.
“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs.” Acts 17:24-25
My little brother and I were not the most sophisticated four- and six-year-olds on the planet, but me, the ringleader, knew we had to do something. It was our mom’s birthday, or maybe it was Mother’s Day. It was likely her birthday, since the concept of Mother’s Day never reached us until we were twice our ages.
Side by side, we stood in front of our toy shelf. “What to give her?” Most of our well-used toys were obviously not good choices, but we settled on what I still remember so clearly—this unpainted, solid wood, slightly dinged up decorative piece most resembling a bowling pin. “This is it!”
We wrapped this high-end treasure in what we deemed appropriate, a brown paper grocery bag. And we used staples (with no injuries!) to seal the deal.
Our timing was off. She was at her desk number crunching for the farm, a much- loved passion of hers, but we presented our “gift” with good cheer.
Did my mom need some bowling pin like gizmo that she had seen (and probably put away) dozens of times?
You know what I’m saying. You also know where I am going. What does God need from us? Used bowling pin-like gifts? No, the King of all Creation, the one who sets the billions of stars in place and knows the number the hairs on your head (Ah, mom? He’s a REAL number cruncher!), doesn’t NEED anything. But He sure wants a lot. He wants you. Late. Thoughtless. Busy. Doing childish stuff. Without a real a gift and no great means to wrap it.
A poor seminarian in my mid-thirties in one of the most expensive cities in the world, I learned quickly the difference between needs and wants. If you are on a budget, you, too, know the difference—the distinct difference. No, oh no, God does not need anything. Paul is right here. But God sure does want something. He wants you.
After I read this prayer, I will close my eyes. I will give me, the gift you really want. Listen to me. And may I be still enough in this moment to listen to You.