Dowd Simpson

06 Aug, 2015

Why is it that for our entire lives we are encouraged, required even, to be independent. It is an attribute in our society worthy of praise, looked upon as if the precipice of greatness lay just beyond the capital I of Independence. And after that then what? What is this greatness that society holds in such regard? Is greatness defined by fame and fortune? Comfort and ease? The ability to determine my own life, my own fate? A life that revolves around getting what I want, when I want it, and doing whatever it takes to make sure that happens? I have a hard time accepting this as truth. For one, because I have tried that and the pursuit of this type of greatness has left me feeling incredibly empty, void, dull on the inside and on the outside angry, anxious, jealous and just plain mean. I think that greatness is not found in me or in what I do or achieve. Greatness is in the daily denial of self not in the daily indulgence of self. Greatness is in the lack of me, and in the abundance of God. Greatness is not found in independence. Greatness is found in dependence. 

I am the first of five children in my family. It was as if I was forced to be independent. My parents had four more after me that required their attention so at least one should be able to be self sufficient. Right? So I pushed myself in my expectations. I wanted straight A's, the lead in the play, a starting position on the volleyball team, the solo performance in the ballet, the travel expert and ideal exchange student to Spain. I looked very independent on the outside but on the inside I was hiding a secret. I had a dependence. I wanted to be wanted. There was a relational dependence in an independent woman. I saw this truth manifest itself many times in my life. If I was going to have a best friend, I expected to be her best friend without anyone else. If I was going to have a boyfriend, I needed to be needed by them. I wanted to know that I was wanted. But the problem with people is that people fail, and intentionally or unintentionally hurt you, fail you and/or leave you.

If I had this desire to be wanted that even in its best state was broken, fragmented and imperfect, maybe it was a desire fulfilled by something not found in front of me. Maybe it was a desire fulfilled by that which is whole, that which is perfect. Was it ok for me to think that I could be wanted by Someone who wouldn't hurt me, fail me or leave me? I was. You were. We were wanted...

As much as we think we are independent people in an independent self sufficient society, we were created as dependent beings. There will always be a search for something to depend on, whether it's a person, a child, a job, money, status, fame, technology, my phone, myself, whatever it is, we will always have a need to need or a need to be needed. It points to something intrinsic about the way we were created. It points to something eternal. If we will never be satisfied with our current find for fulfillment of need, our need is something outside of this world. Our need is for something that will not fail or leave us. Our need is for Jesus.