I was asked to speak to the church today. While this was not my idea of a good time, the person who asked me was having a tough time of her own so I did feel the need for compassion. We talked about the concept for the month and it was abundant life. Well ok have spoken in front of people before, suck it up and just present. Here is what I talked about today:
What is an abundant life? If you think abundance in terms of things it would mean that you have an excess of those things. If you think of it in terms of experiences then you must do a lot of things to have an abundance. Is it blessings, is it people? Well the bible never tells you exactly what an abundant life is or how to measure abundance.
What would happen though if we took abundant life to mean a way of thinking about what you have? Enough means a lot of different things to different people. It is not something which can be quantified or measured because indeed it is a perception. What feeds into that perception is our own wants, needs and desires. Abundant life to you may or may not be an abundant life to me.
Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Instead of focusing on what is missing or lost from our lives it becomes more important to remember what in fact is present in our lives. You need to separate out wants and needs. Blessings are not always seen as large and showy things, they can be a kind word, a gesture of love. If we take time to look at what we do have in each aspect of our life than how much more fulfilled will we be?
I know when I first thought of abundant life I thought immediately of the materials things money, clothes, food and the like. But deep down I knew that the reason my life is abundant was far beyond the things I possessed. It was a way I felt inside, how I viewed the world, my perceptions of my circumstances. When I am experiencing good time I can recall with ease how much I have in these circumstances, when experiencing darker days though I struggle to remember all of my gifts. I think this speaks to my human condition and one, while I try to work on it, remains completely imperfect as can be expected of….well a human.
Abundant life comes from deciding to focus on those things which bring us joy even in our darker hours. It comes from truly learning from our blunders and falls. Abundant life is knowing that God will provide for you in the way you need to be provided for, NOT the way you think it should be. It also means giving freely of yourself in actions and belongings for no reason but because you can. Remember as it states in Proverbs (28:27) “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.”
Abundant life is a feeling really, a knowing that it is all right because when all is said and done you have enough. Enough of whatever it is that fills you with joy and happiness.