Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Something to Give

I've been working with the idea of abundance for a long time. My own financial situation, as a self-employed writer, has fluxuated over the years. Sometimes things felt stable and secure, sometimes not. Whether my barns were full or empty, though, I did learn in a very real way that God was there throughout, trustworthy, faithful, helping.

Here in Indiana everything went from the brown of winter to vibrant green spring almost in a single day. I marveled at the green green grass and the full leaves on the trees--it all happened so suddenly! Surely this is God's abundance at work, I thought. I prayed to understand that sense of constant, instant, always available supply so that I could know once and for all my financial needs were met in God--no two ways about it. I really wanted that certainty.

A little while ago I read this article over on Spirituality.com. The author talks about how he felt when he lost his job and couldn't get any traction. He struggled with fear and was stretching a pot of soup to last a whole week so he wouldn't go hungry. When his thinking began to change, it all started with the thought, "I have something to give." That's a powerful thought when you feel yourself being backed further and further into a corner. Giving has been a part of my life for a long time, but when I'm being really honest with myself I know that my giving had a lot to do with getting. I gave money to the church because God said to and I was afraid not to! I gave extra effort for my clients because I hoped they would want to work with me again. I always went the extra mile, did more than was asked, was as good as possible--but the effort came from fear (lack) in the hopes that it would earn the love, care, and supply God already provides simply because that's God's nature! I didn't realize that last part, and I didn't know I was giving to get.

In the article, the writer talks about discovering what he already had to give--ways in which he could give out of his own abundance. You may not have a lot of money, or time, or special talent. But you already have abundance somewhere in your life. The world needs your gifts. Your family needs your gifts. God needs your gifts. What do you have to give to the world? It may be something simple, like appreciation of beauty or your time and attention. But whatever you have to give, you can be sure that it fits perfectly a need that someone else has.

Because I love these kinds of object lessons, I sat down with my journal and wrote "I have something to give" at the top. Then I began to list all the things that occurred to me as things I can give from my own abundance. And you know what? "Money" didn't appear until #24 on the list! This really made me feel good about what I have to offer the world from the abundance that exists within me right now.

Try it--you'll be amazed! And then drop me a note and share some of your abundance of insight. :)

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