Summer brings to mind all those great family vacations. My mom didn’t like to fly so we always traveled by car – reptile farms and mermaid shows, waterfalls and caverns, old railroads and battlegrounds, Stuckey’s Pecan Logs and Callabash shrimp.
And all along the way were Gift Shops – marvelous, magical places full of coon skin caps, sling shots, plastic snakes and the ever-popular ship in a bottle. We were allowed just one souvenir per trip, so we weighed our options carefully and were often heart sick as we pulled out of the parking lot leaving behind that special “something” to see what the next Gift Shop had to offer.
Once home, the special things I had to leave behind often haunted me for weeks. How could I have left that stuffed baby bear cub on the shelf? His glistening eyes begging me to take him home. Why didn’t I get the red cowgirl vest with white tassels? Sometimes I would really let it get to me. My mom would say, “Remember and be grateful for all the fun we had. Don’t get lost on what you didn’t get.” Easier said than done…to this day.
“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” These are the words of Jesus found in Luke. They don’t seem reasonable nor very charitable, but I am learning they are very true.
When we focus on what we don’t have, that tends to be all we see and ends up being how we frame our reality. “I don’t have enough (time, energy, money, patience, etc.).” Or “I didn’t get the (stuffed bear, family, health report, house, body, etc.) I wanted.” Sometimes we even forecast lack and disappointment on our future – “This isn’t how I wanted things to turn out.” This mentality of lack and inadequacy is hard to break and blinds us to all we DO have.
Take the disciples, for instance. They had been hanging out with Jesus and seen His miracles, yet when Jesus tells them to feed the multitude, their negative response is “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish.” Pitiful. But isn’t that classic of what we do?
So how do we change our attitude to be that of the little kid with the loaves and fish? He focused on what he DID have. Then he gave it away! Wait. What?
Love and trust. That is how we have enough – enough love, enough patience, enough money, enough time, to do what we need to do today, and to give others what they need from us today. Look at what we DO have, be willing to share it and trust that God will do His part.
Luke 9:17 They all ate and were satisfied.