Thursday, November 6, 2014

Jesus Wants More and Less from Me and You

   It is November. The Methodist Men will soon be tempting is with selling delicious desserts for the holiday week. Thanksgiving is drawing closer. People are supposed to be thankful - the calendar and the Hallmark company say so. But, why is gratitude something that needs to be scheduled? Brene' Brown, one of my current favorite authors, shared this passage from one of her favorite authors.

“For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep." The next one is "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough. We don't have enough exercise. We don't have enough work. We don't have enough profits. We don't have enough power. We don't have enough wilderness. We don't have enough weekends. Of course, we don't have enough money - ever. We're not thin enough, we're not smart enough, we're not pretty enough or fit enough or educated enough or successful enough, or rich enough - ever. Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack. This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life” 
- Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money, 2003

Does this speak to you? It does to me!
   Brown goes on to connect this hunger for more joy with our lack of gratitude. We want because we don't recognize what we already have. We bought the lie that abundance can be measured and have shunned the notion that sufficient is okay. We have the power to claim the truth: "We have a sufficient amount. We have enough."
   It was Marianne Williamson who said, "Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are." In John's Gospel, Jesus explained his ministry and teachings to the disciples this way: "I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!" He was not promising an abundance of anything that could be purchased, sold, touched, or even seen. He was promising the very thing that defines everything else: joy.
   Jesus wants more from me and from you. At the same time, Jesus is perfectly fine with us having less of some things: worry, shame, regret, and the weight of scarcity around our necks.
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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