BY REV. JEREMIAH JORDING - SPIRIT LAKE IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Do you feel it? The summer! It is almost gone! What has happened to it? I have heard this common sentiment frequently these last few weeks. The weather has been so good, but now we have to start preparing for the fall. We have a scarcity issue. The summer is scarce. There is only so much time left to soak up the sun, the lakes, and the good times.
Scarcity is the phenomenon when you feel like you do not have enough. When food is scarce you become hungry, to the point it is all you can think about. When money is scarce you get stressed and live week to week, and the anxiety of not having enough consumes you. When you feel that something, time, or resources are scarce it causes our minds to shift gears and dwell on the scarcity. You could call it tunnel vision.
It is easy to get lost in this tunnel because we are often taught and shown that somehow there is not enough, no matter what it may be. You have to fight for everything you own, otherwise someone else might take it. This scarcity mindset underpins much of what motivates day to day.
Jesus proposes another way of looking at things. Consider his words in Luke 12.
22 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
Jesus suggests what I call an abundance mindset, as opposed to a scarcity one. Jesus suggests that everything in creation is more than enough. He sustains nature and he sustains you. There is no need to fear having enough. In fact, he took our discontentment to the cross with him when he died for you. His life, death, and resurrection are sufficient to meet your eternal needs to the full. What he provides in this life is well sufficient too.
There are only weeks left to our summer fun, but what we have experienced has been sufficient. Enjoy what we have left. Every day is a gift, and the autumn will bring its splendid blessings as well. Amen.