This month we consider abundance and scarcity. No matter our outward circumstances, most of us experience both of these conditions. Surprisingly this may have more to do with our life view than our possessions. Some may have abundant worldly wealth but feel a need to cling to what they have for fear of not having enough. Others struggle to make ends meet, yet seem to easily share what they do have with generosity and faith.
I greatly admire the latter group and want to be more like them, but how? If the answer doesn’t lie in how much we possess, how can we obtain a culture of abundance? For me, it will require working on my feelings of personal scarcity – feeling I am not enough, don’t have enough, and can’t replace what I give away.
I suggest we begin with being more aware of our abundance.
We can start by recognizing God’s love and care for us in every circumstance of life, especially the hardest ones. Despite our failures and falls, His love has no limits or expiration date. There is always a new day and a new way to succeed. As a favorite hymn text suggests, Because I have been given much, I too must give.* If you don’t feel this, start by recognizing the beauty of the earth and the natural tendency it has to grow and multiply.
Family love is another abundant gift which can increase our confidence and ability to love. Each family member is like one stick in our bundle. Though imperfect, each is part of this powerful force – a bundle that is virtually unbreakable as we stand together. Family, of course, may consist of a group of friends and mentors who are not related to you by blood, but by love. A Big Ocean WAVE (formerly cottage) is an example.
As you open your heart to these key gifts, you will see the world and your unlimited abundance through different eyes. You will recognize options to share not only your means and belongings, but other resources, such as time, talents, patience, and kindness.
This could look like:
- visiting a shut-in
- sharing a meal
- offering a ride
- sending an encouraging message
- showing up for a performance
- watching someone’s children
- donating extra clothing, produce, or household goods to neighbors or refugees
- choosing to speak kindly of those who are struggling
- smiling at the new person in your group
- graciously waving someone into the last parking space, knowing you’ll find another
As you increase your abundance awareness, you will instinctively welcome opportunities to share and serve. You will worry less about the cost or the size of your contributions, knowing that you will not only have enough, but be enough.
*Because I Have Been Given Much, Grace Noll Crowell, from Light of the Years