I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of abundance. We don’t hear much about that. Not with gas prices sky rocketing and riots in somolia because of lack of food.
Today’s henri nouwen daily meditation
The Temptation to Hoard
As fearful people we are inclined to develop a mind-set that makes us say: "There's not enough food for everyone, so I better be sure I save enough for myself in case of emergency," or "There's not enough knowledge for everyone to enjoy; so I'd better keep my knowledge to myself, so no one else will use it" or "There's not enough love to give to everybody, so I'd better keep my friends for myself to prevent others from taking them away from me." This is a scarcity mentality. It involves hoarding whatever we have, fearful that we won't have enough to survive. The tragedy, however, is that what you cling to ends up rotting in your hands.
This quote reminds me of the children of Israel gathering manna each day. They were only to gather what they needed…not more. And if they kept it over night (except for the Sabbath day) it would rot and gather maggots!
God wanted them to get that he was their provider and he would provide enough! They didn’t’ have to hoard or be afraid.
When we live in the ln the land of NOT ENOUGH we live in fear. We live in doubt. We live out selfishness. We are not willing to be generous with our time, our resources or our possessions. We ask a lot of ‘what if” questions. I know someone who has an entire closet filled with new shirts (still with the tags on them) because he might need them someday. He is afraid there won’t be enough or he won’t have enough to get what he wants or thinks he needs. He is lonely and lives afraid even though his bank account is filled and overflowing!
In God’s economy there is always enough and not just an enough, there is an abundance. He fills our nets with so many fish that we need help and an extra boat. He fills our stomachs with so much fish and bread that there are twelve baskets left over.
Rob and I are talking a lot about how we want to live in the land of abundance not the land of not enough.
We want to see the abundance of God not live in fear of what if or maybe later.
While we were in san Francisco last month we ate at cafe gratitude. It was the first all raw all vegan restaurant I’ve been to. It was amazing. Not just the great food but the vibe, the flavor of the restaurant. It’s about being thankful. It’s about living in gratitude, living in "the land of abundance" not " the land of not enough."
Even the names of the dishes are “I AM” statements. “I am renewed” “I am refreshed”
It was church for me.
And while this wasn’t a jesus centered place, jesus was very much present because living for jesus is about living gratefully. Living in abundance.
This doesn’t mean “name it and claim it” win the lottery, god give me a Mercedes kind of stuff (crap)
No this means living with an open hand, able to receive the things God has for us.
It means getting rid of the stuff that crowds our lives and the stuff that weighs us down and the stuff that we hold so tightly too that means nothing in all eternity.
For me, living in abundance, living in gratitude is extremely hard. It doesn’t come naturally or easily. I grew up and was trained well to believe in “the land of not enough” and “be much afraid.”
Like in alanon, I must take one hour at a time to practice living in gratitude. Being thankful for all the gifts along the way.
That’s pilgrim living..seeing each person from the crying baby in the store or on the plane, to the older person going really slow in your lane as gifts from God for you.
Seeing the absence of things as gifts too.
Seeing the need to simplify as a great opportunity to be set free so I can bless others.
To hold things loosely rather than hold on to them for dear life.
As a follower of Jesus who’s walked in his dirt and dust along while, it’s about time that I learned (and actually believed)that he’ll have breakfast ready on the beach even when I haven’t caught anything all night!