After the historic Nor’easter a couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I wished I were in Massachusetts, to which I responded with a vehement, “No!” I’m very grateful to have missed the storm. I’m also grateful for the little cold fronts that have come through reminding me that it is fall.
As we travel through November, our thoughts turn to holidays, meals, family gatherings and social events. It’s the time of year when we “give thanks” for what we have, and on the flip side we also stress about what we don’t have.
The holiday season can be very stressful for us as we try to match or exceed the festivities of years past. Every year the presents have to be bigger in size and number. Every year the meal has to be a little fancier and the decorations more elaborate. And it causes us more worry about how we’re going to do it all, or if we’ll even be able to do anything.
We live with the myth of scarcity.
Advertising and our cultural norms tell us over and over that we do not have enough. We are told that the good life is one where we have one house on the beach, another in the mountains, a platinum (or sapphire) credit card, two luxury cars and so on. And if we can’t afford these “necessities” then we do not have enough and are not good enough.
I have fallen into this trap myself, bemoaning the fact that I will probably never be able to own a Shelby Mustang or a yacht. But the fact is, my life is perfectly full without such things, and we all know that to be true.
Then the ads start, and the programs on how to prepare the perfect seven-course Thanksgiving meal to impress your friends and show love to your family.
The myth of scarcity says we can never have enough.
The truth is the opposite.
The truth is, most of us live lives of abundance. I don’t just mean money when I say that. We also have lives of abundance because we have a great and wonderful God whose love for us overflows.
The Psalmist tells us, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever,” (Psalm 106.)
We have received so much in our lives in the form of family, friends, talents and skills – all from the God who created us and loved us. Our lives are truly those of abundance.
So I encourage you this season to think not of what you don’t have, and really don’t even need, but to enjoy and celebrate what you do. Let’s see if we can make the truth of abundance just as infectious as the myth of scarcity.
Tricia Tedrow is interim pastor at Community Presbyterian Church in Port Aransas.