Managing Abundance

18 May

cornucopia

Years ago in the Psychology 100 class I taught, the assigned text book had a chapter on stress. In it, they discussed how making choices can be stressful. They then gave examples about how we can have a choice between two bad things, a choice between a good thing and a bad thing and a choice between two good things. All are stress inducing but of course choosing between two good things would be the better problem to have. For instance, do I choose between banana cream pie or pumpkin? A vacation in Hawaii or Europe? Obviously, these are more pleasant choices to contemplate than which type of cancer treatment to have…

Lately I’ve been inundated with positive choices mostly related to vocation but choices nonetheless. Yet like a kid who has eaten too much candy, I am feeling a little sick on all the stimulating activity. So how do we make choices when our cup runneth over? And how do we come to terms with an abundant life when so much of the world lacks?

Years ago I read an article about an American visiting a country somewhere in Africa. Out to dinner with a native, the two decided to have ice cream for dessert. There was one choice of flavor on the menu. The American shared that in the US there is an ice cream shop that has 31 flavors. “That is too many choices,” the African said.

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We have an incredible amount of choice in this country. It is obscene and yet a privilege I don’t take for granted. Where some in the world are starving for a bowl of porridge, we have hundreds of varieties of cereal.

When you talk with immigrants one of the things they always say is how lucky we are in America to make our own way. We can at least partially decide what we want to do and can aspire to have dreams for ourselves. When some of these dreams actually materialize, it can be a little daunting and demands a certain degree of responsibility for true abundance centers on far more than money or goods.

The other day when I was trying to make some decisions regarding my time and work schedule, a friend asked, “What is your priority?” Such a simple yet profound question that needs constant asking. Another friend said, “I don’t think God ever wants us to be so busy that we don’t have time for him.” So, I cancelled something I very much wanted to do tomorrow because right now I simply don’t have time. And it’s a reminder to me to make time for what’s important and for the actual Creator.

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