Landing in Abundance

Landing in the state of abundance is a state of mind. A choice. 

No, that does not mean I’m espousing “believe it, claim it. And you’ll be rich.” Scripture clearly lets us know that in this world, difficulties will come our way.

But consider some of our American ancestors who hunted for their food, then cleared and planted farms, built homes, wove fabric, sewed clothing. Yes, old-fashioned skills. But even as recent as the 20th century, grandparents and great-grandparents lived through World War I, experienced financial, social, and personal hardships. Then they endured the Depressions and WWII. They learned to be frugal, to value the important things in life. And many a good time was had in hand-me-down clothes around the radio with a bowl of popcorn.

Later those very same people who had been children through those lean years of self-sacrificing wanted a better life for their kids. One where they didn’t experience:

                          scarcity that required making one dress, one apron, one shirt, one set of knickers last;

                          mothers washing clothes at night and letting them dry as the kids slept in order to wear clean clothes to church on Sunday and begin school Monday;

                          years when empty flour sacks became towels or dresses;

                          the need to find a scrap of cardboard, fold it, and stuff it inside a shoe to cover a hole.

 That thrift and knowledge of how to use every scrap of anything to its utmost—those are valuable skills. Essential for survival during The Depression, the Dust Bowl, the War. Still valuable in the 21st century. Homes, businesses, and especially the government would be stronger and carry less debt if those skills were still common-place and valued.

What became of them?

Those children who were recipients of that “better life” of the second half of the 20th century reaped the benefits but did not learn the skills, values, and lessons of the lean years their parents and grandparents experienced.

And now in these United States, a land of untold plenty, so many are unsatisfied.  Unhappy. Grasping. How do we swing that pendulum back?

I suggest:  Gratitude

What do you need? Slow down, breathe deeply, and see what is around you. Then be grateful for even the most simple ways in which needs are met.

Do you need food? Be thankful for the bowl of cereal, or toast and cup of coffee. Often we are guilty of shoving sustenance into our mouth unthinkingly so we can get on with the “important” business of life. Gratitude is the business of life.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude helps set in order a whole mess of priorities. And don’t we need that in this chaotic world? In our time-crunched days? Noticing what we have in our lives, not what’s missing, will automatically reduce our yearning for the number of things we believe we must chase.

What better time than November? Seemingly every newspaper ad, every billboard, every commercial shouts, “Get ready. Order your turkey and pie now! Thanksgiving is around the corner.” If we fall into old habits and forget to count our blessings this month, all of media and culture are ready to remind us: It’s Thanksgiving time!