Want What You’ve Got! (dam)

Ike Water Line

Ike Water Line (Photo credit: Dean Terry)

I woke up this morning with a picture in my mind of the dam markings at a nearby lake. My husband and I took our kids there for an afternoon walk after Christmas, and we were able to stand right up next to the concrete wall in the dried up lake bed. We joked about which of us was the shortest (me) and took turns jumping – trying to reach the bigger numbers far above our heads.

What does water level have to do with Lent? I’m glad you asked!

A few weeks ago, sitting around the living room with one of our faith family groups, we talked about some economic what-if’s…

What if people – Americans in particular – were to acknowledge that it is possible to reach a point where we actually have enough?

What if, instead of continually striving to acquire more, we were willing to draw a line to indicate our enough-level and then refuse to stockpile beyond that point?

What if believers really believed that what we receive in this life is meant to benefit others, too – not just ourselves?

And what if, acting on all of these beliefs, we were to treat everything above and beyond our enough-line as if it wasn’t even ours. As if all of that overflow was never meant for us at all, but instead is God’s way of including us in His generous economy of love?

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 says:

“This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”

Now, you may not feel you have reached such a holy water-line yet, and you may be right. But the scripture doesn’t say that God gives you everything so that you can give it all away – it says He gives you something you can give away. In any given season of life we may be needy in some ways, but if we are willing to acknowledge God’s extravagance, we will also be able to identify areas of wealth, where His blessings have breached the enough-line and no longer belong to us.

If you’re like me, this is not how you tend to think about what is yours. Most of us are so insanely tethered to our possessions that to simply Want What You’ve (already) Got sounds like crazy talk!

But give it a little time to sink in.

Daily Questions: Where would you draw the enough-line when it comes to what you need (possessions, savings, investments, entertainment, relationships)? In which of these areas do you fall short of your sense of enough? In which do you exceed your mark? What are you willing to do about it today?

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