About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Do I Want to be Needed or Need to be Wanted?

At the beginning of the movie Benny & Joon, a story about a mentally ill young woman (Joon) who lives with her sometimes overprotecive brother (Benny), William H. Macy's character asks, "What does it mean to need somebody? I've been thinking about that today.... and wondering if indeed I do want to be needed. I dont' think I do. Just this morning I've been needed on a number of occassions.

  • Work called - they asked me to stay longer on Sunday. (I'm already working a 12 hour shift but they want me to stay longer).
  • A co-worker called, asking me to work her shift today (which would mean that I would work at least a 20 hour shift and possibly a 24 hour shift - I said "no".)
  • A friend called asking me to do her a favor - something she could have done herself.
  • My son needed me to help him fix his car.
  • My husband needed me to go to the store and get some oatmeal, brown sugar and milk - I forgot the milk so I'll have to go back.

In the movie, Joon eventually falls in love with an oddball character (Sam) who sees her as a human being who "aside from being a little mentally ill, seems pretty normal". Joon's brother Benny struggles with her new romance. Benny thinks she needs to stay with him because she needs him to look out for her, something Sam can't do because he's so ill equiped to deal with life himself. But is it Benny that needs Joon to stay sick? The movie has a lot to say about being needed vs. being wanted. I don't much care for being needed. I'd rather be wanted. I'm much rather have people calling me to say "let's get together" rather than to say, "will you do this for me".

I imagine that God is the same way. I have a feeling that He would much rather us want Him than need Him. And more importantly, I think He probably wishes that we would take joy in the fact that we are wanted by Him rather than longing to be used by Him. Being used by God implies that He needs us. He doesn't. God can use anything or anyone - believe or not. He can use a Jackass, and does quite often. Being used by God is not the big deal that a lot of people make it out to be. It's nice, it's fun, sometimes it's exciting, but it doesn't come close to knowing that we are wanted by Him.

4 comments:

Lorna said...

Hold onto that thought - it's so easy to fall into the being needed trap. A lot of pastors and pastors-to-be need to realisd that God can and will use donkeys and jackasses but he longs to be loved by us. If only I could get that right instead of jumping on to the wheel of being busy for God

BTW I'm proud that you said NO too - a 20-24 shift (of anything) is TOOOOOOOO much.

Amber said...

Yes, in the past 20 something years that I've been married to a pastor I've seen a lot of pastors get caught up in the need to be needed. Not a good thing.

And yes, 24 hours is wayyyyy too much. Even though a lot of my job only amounts to being a body in the house I just can't do that.

Bruce said...

Just discovered your blog from your comment at Well Woman. I enjoy your writings, very insightful. Look forward to reading you more.

Amber said...

Welcome Bruce! Glad you stopped by. I'll be checking out your blog as well. :)