Real Needs

Editorial Perspective

The warm days of Spring provide us with the opportunity to leave behind the heavy sweaters and coats of Winter. We may even be deceived when the sun is shining by thinking it is time to head for the beach with our swim suit and jump into the water that is still rather chilly.

Our perception of reality is not always the way it really is. It appeared to be a warm, sunny, Summer day in Northern Vermont, when the camping family decided to let their children jump into the lake. Unfortunately, the water was almost as cold as the frosty early morning air and the children quickly came out of the water, shivering and cold. Reality doesn’t always live up to expectations.

For the overeater, his or her perceived or felt need, might be apple pie and ice cream. Since a second or third slice and scoop is “needed” because they can’t stop with one, they will invariably overeat. For the alcoholic, their felt need is usually another drink. For the workaholic, their felt need is often finishing one of the many projects they are currently involved in or adding a few new projects to their already overextended commitment of time and energy.

Rather than acting on their faulty thinking concerning their perceived or felt needs, the person who is challenged by a harmful, addictive substance or activity, who is practicing the principles of good recovery, will think before acting on impulse. Their real need or needs might be to go for a refreshing walk or go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or other 12-Step recovery meeting.

Our greatest real need is Jesus Christ. I am reminded of the chorus of the Kris Kristofferson’ song, “Why Me Lord.”

Lord help me Jesus,

I’ve wasted it so help me Jesus,

I know what I am,

but now that I know,

that I needed you so help me Jesus,

my souls in your hand. (emphasis supplied)

God will richly bless us with recovery from any and all harmful behaviors, if and when we put Jesus first.

Ray Nelson, MDiv, MSPH