The spiritual theme for January at my congregation is abundance and I will be leading a multi-generational worship service on this topic this coming Sunday. So I have been thinking a lot about abundance and scarcity and how that plays out in my life.
I keep coming back to how do we find abundance in what we already have in our lives. This is no easy task particularly as we are bombarded by advertisements and media whose very premise is scarcity, whose very premise is that what we have now, is not enough.
It is hard when money or time or energy feels scarce, and most of us experience that kind of scarcity. At times it is difficult to believe that it is enough just the way it is. It is a nearly universal premise of religion that the abundance we seek is within us and that if we can’t find what we are searching for within, then we will certainly never find it without. Easy to say and quote when things are going along well, not so easy when one is struggling to have time to spend with family, run the errands and still keep up with work. Easy to say when there is enough money to pay the bills or maybe there is even something left at the end of the month.
I know that too often I prey victim to that there is never enough money, or time or energy - that all I see around me are undone tasks, and that life is just a whole series of problems. Not much abundance there!
So what are we to do it? How are we to appreciate what we have? To believe that who we are and what we have to offer are enough? That actually there is more than enough, that our true selves are exactly what is needed.
Well I think it begins with even brief moments of insight, remembering those times when we experienced abundance. For example, when I was on silent retreat in May, it was so amazing to just spend my days reading, walking, praying. I did not miss talking. I did not miss television or e-mail. It was enough to just enjoy the sunshine, the books I was reading. Sometimes, when things are just too stressful, I will remember those days at Richmond Hills, remember when it was enough to just stop and unplug. I also then promise myself to go again, to take the time away.
So for my New Year's resolution, I am going to resolve to look for the abundance already present. I want to live into what I have is enough. I resolve not to do some great new project or start some new self-improvement program. I resolve to see what I already have, what I already am and believe that it is enough.