Wednesday 25 September 2019

The Cost of Abundance

Luke 12:48

“I forgot why I don’t like shopping here,” she muttered as we stood at the checkout stand. “You have to bag your own groceries.”

I laughed, “Well, at least it isn’t Costco where we have to haul out heavy boxes.”

She chuckled then shook her head, “We are so privileged.”

She was right. We finished packing our bags and parted ways. I walked to my car thinking of the privilege it is to be able to buy giant boxfuls of food.

Opening the trunk to my car, I realized I had no space to put my food because I hadn’t taken the bags of clothes we had just cleaned out of our closets to Goodwill yet. A trunk full of too many clothes left me with no room for my shopping cart full of food. Quite the first world predicament.

I checked my grumpy attitude I’ve had the last few days as we’ve been working to declutter (why is getting rid of so much abundance so exhausting?) and thought about all this. God put me here, in Canada. I could have been born in a third world. I could have even been one of the less fortunate in my own city, but here I am staring at my car filled with surplus.

God says much will be required to those of us who have plenty. (Luke 12:48) Based on the space in my car I’m in the “plenty” group, and I'm fairly certain a car, empty or full, is enough to land me in this category. And yet, how many times have I missed an opportunity because I’ve been grumbling over what I have? Have I missed a conversation God needed me to have with the sales clerk because I was too busy bagging my surplus of food like it was some sort of hardship? Did I miss a chance with a stranger because I was in a hurry for my kids dance lesson forgetting that sports aren't a need in God's kingdom? Did I absentmindedly miss someone in need on the street corner because my gas tank was low and I was too busy comparing which stations had the cheapest gas rate? 

Have my privileges distracted me from God’s needs?

God needs us in the ordinary. He need us to look up from the plenty we have and notice those right in front of us. It is a privilege to buy groceries, to have our kids in sports, to drive cars (just to name a few). Those privileges perfectly take us to places where God needs us to be. He needs our mouths to be ready to speak for Him, our hands to be ready to help Him, our feet to be ready to move for Him, and our ears to listen attentively like He does for us. 

Today wasn’t just a reminder to be grateful for all that I’ve been given, it was a reminder to look up and to look around instead of falling prey to being stuck in the privileged routine of an ordinary first world life. It was a reminder that I have been given much at the hand of God, but that that requires much from me. There is joy far greater in serving God than in any earthly abundance anyway. 

Someone around you today needs you to stop fussing over the privileges and abundance of everyday life and bust into their world with words and actions like only God can do. Will you look up?


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