My parents celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary yesterday. No, that’s not a typo. As the story goes, my father was 19 and my mother 16, a high school junior. They had to keep the marriage a secret until she graduated from high school. But that’s not the only thing that happened in 1943. Psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper that year, producing data to support his theory on why exemplary people performed at high levels. For some time, Maslow had been curious as to what made high achievers exemplary. Instead of studying those who were challenged by particular dysfunctions, Maslow composed a research sample of the top 1% of college students. The result of his work is what is now known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. According to his theory, no one can reach their potential (self actualization) without first having basic life needs met, such as their physiological needs, their need for security, their need for love and belonging, and their need for esteem. Those needs provide basic platforms which build one on top of the other until a person is able to perform to their potential.
2,000 years before Maslow, Jesus of Nazareth was operating on these principles. Last week I blogged about Jesus as “the Bread of Life,” which was the teaching Jesus gave following his feeding of the 5,000. Yes, Jesus shared this principle after feeding them. Jesus was attuned to the physiological needs of people, as further evidenced by many of the miracles He performed. In addition, Jesus was aware of people’s needs for security. That’s the gist of his declaration, “I AM the gate.” This week I’m going to post some thoughts about security and how Jesus provides security for our insecure, unpredictable lives.