Posts Tagged ‘opening our minds to possibilities’

Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind. (Eccles. 6:9)

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Have you ever gone hungry for any length of time? Have you ever left a table wishing you had more to eat? Think about how this feels, even if you have not experienced it. Quite a few of us doubtless have even more than we need of the world’s goods.   Many of us regularly donate used clothing and household goods to charities, which is an indication of our abundance.

It never ceases to amaze me that I can have so many “things” and still find myself attracted to more. During holiday periods, just reading the advertising (or seeing it on television) can make us long for more.   If I am honest with myself, a lot of the things I purchase are things I want rather than things I truly need.  Our culture (and our advertising and our media) encourages us to think that something new will be better than that which we already have.

Every year, I am amazed that once the Thanksgiving holiday is over in the U.S. (and now even before) people line up waiting for stores to open so they can get great “deals” on the things they wish to purchase.  Watching what happens when those stores finally open looks like a feeding frenzy in an aquarium.   Does all that buying fill some need in us?  If we feel some elation over our purchases, how long does this last?

It can be very helpful for all of us, no matter how much or how little we have, to cultivate a grateful heart. I lean toward being the kind of person who sees the negative rather than the positive side of things. It is one of the things I work on almost daily. The strange thing is that negativity produces more negativity, but when you become aware of the many things you should be grateful for, you find even more of them.

I got some help from a book called Simple Abundance which suggested keeping a gratitude journal in which you wrote down at least five things you were grateful for at the end of each day. I did it for over a year, and still do it at times. Some days my list only includes my gratitude for breath, vision, hearing, food, and shelter, but often I find other, far more specific and special things—especially if I look for them.

When we become aware of how much we have, and regularly give thanks for it, we will be far less likely to buy things just for the sake of buying them.   Cultivating an attitude of gratitude helps to feed that ‘hunger for more’ that all of us feel from time to time.   There is nothing wrong with buying gifts for others (or ourselves) when we can afford to do so.   However, we humans need to be more aware of enjoying what we already have.

Taken from “Talks with our Creator” for December 7th

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But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt. 6:33-34)

We are told that if we seek we will find. Do you believe this to be true for you? Often we seem to be seeking specific answers. What answers are you seeking today? Are they general or specific? Ask yourself why it is that we seem to need answers so much of the time. What might it be like to inquire without looking for answers—to simply have an inquiring mind?

Usually when we ask a question, we expect to find an answer and quickly.  Everything these days seems to be available at the click of a mouse.  On some level, we believe God will tell us immediately what He/She wants us to do or at least tell us where to go for answers. We may want to Know with a capital “K.” We want certainty in an uncertain universe.

The solution is not to stop asking the questions. It’s important that we acknowledge that some problem—some tension—exists, but we sometimes need to simply allow that tension to be there. Consider for a moment what it would be like to be more comfortable with just going along, moment by moment, allowing each day to take care of itself. Perhaps it all boils down to a lack of trust when we humans get focused on the need for answers. We want to be sure—we want to be right.

Obviously, it’s important to know right from wrong. However, many of us have placed too much emphasis on doing the right thing. Perhaps there are sometimes a number of “right” ways, and we need to have enough faith and trust to allow ourselves to simply explore. Today, may we simply ask God to open our minds to possibilities and to help us be more comfortable with asking the questions but not expecting the answers. Just for today, let us trust God to direct our lives and let tomorrow worry about itself.

Adapted from “Talks with our Creator” for August 30th

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