The Bare Necessities

Have you ever watched The Jungle Book?  The classic 1967 Disney movie inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli story?  Well, I remember growing up with seeing it and now my kids love watching it too.  We’ve seen it a dozen times.  Every time I watch it, I mean to write a blog about this one line. 

Baloo, the happy-go-lucky bear that befriends Mowgli, sings one of those catchy Disney tunes that sticks in your head for days called The Bare Necessities.  As he and Mowgli float down the river, he utters these wise words:

And don’t spend your time lookin’ around
For something you want that can’t be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin’ about it
I’ll tell you something true
The bare necessities of life will come to you.
They’ll come to you.

Don’t spend your time looking for something you want that can’t be found…  How many of us are chasing something we want that can’t be found? 

There is such an emphasis on keeping up with the Joneses.  It’s how the American economy works.  Getting you worked up in a lather so you’ll want something so much and feel like you absolutely can’t live without until you get it and realize it isn’t actually life altering after all.  Wise old Baloo says, when you find out you can live without it and go along not thinking about it, then the bare necessities of life will come to you. 

It’s this whole 7 exercise I’ve talked about with Jenn Hatmaker.  What do we need?  What do we want?  What do we have?  I was struck so acutely by the differences in those issues YET again this Easter.   How we muddle up needs and wants.  I was trying to teach my kids that Easter is so much more than the bunny and yet we were so overrun with Easter baskets that I have to box them up and give them away.  Baskets surpassing our beliefs.  Reeses overshadowing the Resurrection.   Eggs blinding our expectations.

Lisa Jo Baker wrote about this yesterday – why minivan moms need this Savior.   She shares with her kids, who are bugged that they had to go to church so much, that she needs Easter because their mom messes up and gets angry and gets jealous and wishes she had houses like other people: “I’m busted you guys.  And I need to be rescued.” 

Oh, don’t we all know that?  Don’t we want the house or the outfit or the kitchen or the car or the shoes or the school or the bank account or the summer vacation or the hair stylist or the fill in the blank?  What do you think we’re all doing on Pinterest?  Because why?  Because we will feel more fulfilled?  Because we will be happier?  Because we won’t feel lonely or ostracized?  Because we’ll be ahead?  Part of the “in crowd”?  Or the biggest myth, because we need it? 

Don’t spend your time, lookin’ around, for something you want that can’t be found. 

If you need to be rescued, like I do, like Lisa Jo Baker, then the good news is there is a rescuer.   And there is a way, other than singing The Bare Necessities all day, to train our minds to “go around not thinkin’ about it.”  What if we actually did what Paul recommends in Philippians 4? 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


  1. There is such wisdom in your words, Gindi. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard that song and never really thought about the words…thank you for this reflection. I’m often guilty about wanting the latest “whatever”…and it’s not about that. It never was. It’s about Him, and this was a great reminder today. Blessings on your day, friend! :)

    • Thanks Mel – I always think, wow, if I could just think like that all the time, what pitfalls I would avoid!

  2. Good post! Thank you.

Share Your Thoughts