December 10

Today's quotation:

To learn to get along without, to realize that what
the world is going to demand of us may be a good
deal more important than what we are entitled
to demand of it--this is a hard lesson.

Bruce Canton

Today's Meditation:

There are many who preach and write about abundance, and how it's our natural right to live lives full of abundance and material goods and plenty of money.  While I do believe that all of our needs will be met while we're here--as long as we give life a chance to meet our needs--I'm not quite sure that everyone is meant to have the kind of abundance that others have.  In making a choice to be a teacher, for example, I've effectively made it impossible to earn the kinds of money that a business executive would make, for example.

Abundance certainly isn't about money, but money is a large part of it.  A person without money also will be without the lakeside vacation home, or even the long vacations abroad or the many nice meals in nice restaurants or the beautiful furniture and paintings for the living room.

But that's okay, for the world is demanding something of me--it's demanding that I use my God-given skills in certain areas, and it's telling me that me using my skills in that way is much more important than me gaining material or financial wealth.  And every day, millions of teachers go to their schools and give all that they can, in most cases bringing home paychecks that don't come close to equaling the talent they possess or the effort that they're expending.

There's nothing wrong with going without, though.  When we do, we learn different things about ourselves and our environments and how we fit into them.  My wife and I lived for a year in a motor home--less than 300 square feet for the two of us.  And it wasn't bad at all.  We didn't have any of the luxuries of life, but once we grew accustomed to it, we didn't notice at all what we were missing; we just focused on what we had and made the very best of it.

We can ask a lot of the world, and it's good when we do.  It's just a good idea not to be too disappointed when all that we ask for doesn't show up, for if it did we probably wouldn't be learning the things that we need to learn.

Questions to consider:

What benefits can there be in learning to get along without?  Can it do any harm?  What kinds?

Why do so many people fear the very idea of doing without something that they want?

Is it "fair" for life to make demands of us?

For further thought:

Abundance consists not so much
in material possessions,
but in an uncovetous spirit.

John Selden


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