Our boys were wrestlers in the day.
Terry and I sat through a lot of pee wee wrestling tournaments watching them compete. I can remember that it took Keithen a few tournaments before he placed. For some reason, I was not able to attend that particular tournament. But, when he was brought home, he was very proud to show me his second-place trophy.
Now, it is his turn to watch his oldest son wrestle. Zaven is 6 years old. This was Zaven’s first year involved with a wrestling club and going to pee wee tournaments. Like his Daddy, it took Zaven a few matches before he placed at a tournament. Zaven wanted to win a trophy pretty bad.
The team went to a tournament in Illinois. It was there that Zaven won his first trophy for third place in his age and weight group. He was ecstatic.
At the end of the day, Keithen and Jessica packed the car for the return trip home. They strapped in the baby, and made sure that Kinsley and Zaven were seat-belted. Keithen said he asked Kinsley if there was anything she needed before beginning the trip.
In the meantime, Zaven was cuddling his trophy in his arms holding it closely to his cheek. Keithen asked him if he needed anything, to which Zaven replied, “No. I have this trophy, and that is all that I need.” He did not need a blanket or pillow, because he had that trophy. He did not need anything to eat or drink. He did not need a toy or a book. The trophy was all that he needed, he said.
I found his response cutesy and hilarious. But, in retrospect, his response also typifies a biting spiritual attitude that many people have about not prioritizing or personalizing God in their lives.
For example, people tend to think, “I have money in the bank, and that is all that I need.” People tend to say, “I have a good-paying job, and that is all that I need.” Or, “I have a nice car, and that is all that I need.” Or, “I have lots of good friends, and that is all that I need.” Or, “I have lots of good entertainment, and that is all that I need.”
It reminds us of the story from the New Testament told by the Lord about the man who tore down his barns to build bigger barns for his abundant crops. The man told himself that he had “much goods laid up for many years. Take your ease. Eat, drink, and be merry.” He did not acknowledge God for being the source and supply of what he reaped. He did not worship God for His great blessings. He did not turn to God to reciprocate the abundant providence directed his way by God. Rather, his attitude was, “I have all this, and that is all that I need.” He needed nothing else — not even God.
God referred to him as a “fool.” Jesus pointed out that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses.” That is our greatest societal and spiritual problem of the day. We have it so good that we think we do not need God at any level in our personal, local or national existences. We may have a lot of “stuff,” but we are not rich if we do not personalize or prioritize God in our lives.
The greatest need that anyone has is to have God in their lives. The reason this stands true is because our Lord God holds us accountable to do so. Our responsibility given to us by God is to bring God honor and glory. This is not accomplished if we feel we are self-sufficient and do not have primary room in our lives for Him. Jesus said, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We should rather have the experience and the attitude, “I have God in my life, and that is all that I need.” It is far better to live and to think that way.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.