Wednesday of Week 17 in Ordinary Time
“…when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it”
Some of you may have heard of the 6 Human Needs framework developed by the renowned motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. In this framework, he talks about how success and happiness can be found by meeting certain needs that are fundamental to all human beings. The 6 needs are: certainty, variety, significance, love/connection, growth and contribution. The first four are needs of the person, the last two are what the spirit craves for. These needs are not just wants or desires, but much more profound and are at the core of who we are — and which drives all the choices that we make in life. And herein lies the keyword – choices. Choices that lead ultimately to fulfilment and happiness.
This reflection is not a lesson on psychology or psychometrics. I will just dwell on one aspect of the 6 mentioned needs – contribution – the need to give beyond ourselves. The need to give, to care, to protect and to serve others. If we can agree, for a moment, that we are all created for a purpose by God and that we are all entrusted for a specific mission which is uniquely ours to fulfil, then this notion of contribution becomes profoundly important to our lives – both the physical life (since we have only a finite time of earth to discover and fulfil this mission) and also our spiritual life (since whether we get to choose/fulfil this purpose while on earth, or not, will ultimately determine the life of our souls for all eternity). And herein lies the keyword again – choices. Choices that lead ultimately to fulfilment and happiness…for all eternity.
We are all created for purpose, for mission and, ultimately, to contribute to the betterment of this world and the people in it, and for fidelity to God. Just as Christ was made incarnate for us. Imagine for a moment, that we never get to discover this purpose and to contribute towards its fulfilment; then it begs the question – what’s the point of our being alive and here on this planet? What is our significance? How do we fail to contribute and ultimately lose our significance? When we grow old? When we lose our abilities to provide for those depending on us? When we are no longer respected by others? When we lose our humanity towards others? When we lose our power, prestige and prominence? When we lose our independence and self-sufficiency? When we no longer believe – in God and in ourselves?
When Peter lost his courage and was suddenly overwhelmed by the raging waters of the lake, when the apostles were cowering in shame, fear and despair in the upper room upon the utter defeat and failure of their ‘messiah’, when Thomas was filled with doubt, when Satan was having his victory Good-Friday party – what happened? Well…Jesus showed up. Jesus showed up in all these critical moments of salvation history and He contributed and made Himself significant. He brought along with him at these moments, rescue, courage, certainty, hope, victory. Jesus knew the need in man’s souls at all these moments of life and he contributed to fulfil man’s deepest longings during those moments. He made Himself significant. Jesus chose to come into the storms of our lives and He chose to walk on water in order to come and meet us where were – in the middle of a huge storm, when gusty winds and darkness were all around us. He chose to stretch His arms to us and He chose to rescue us.
And herein lies the keyword yet again – choices. What is the need in the lives of those around us? Can we show up in those moments? Are we prepared, like Jesus, to walk on water, if needed, to meet those moments and to contribute, to be significant, to matter? Choices that lead ultimately to fulfilment and happiness…ours. For all eternity.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Justus Teo)
Prayer: Father, help us. We are in need of light and grace to find our place in this world and in your plan for us. We are confused, lost, overwhelmed, distracted and heading down the path of self-destruction. The storms in our lives are raging all around us. And we are unfulfiled and unhappy.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank you for choosing to come into our lives when it is darkest. And when we are sinking, thank you for your outstretched hand that saves us pulls us to safety – in the bosom of your unfailing love and care for us.