I L O V E it when winter skulks off into the night as the promise of warm breezes and the smell of freshly mowed lawns ushers in sinus congestion and watery eyes. I’ve learned how to live in the grand both/and of Richmond weather – beautiful warm Springs AND seasonal allergies. For me, this serves as a metaphor for abundant living. Could I have daffodils, forsythia and bunny sightings in my very own backyard without a working knowledge of a Nedi pot? No. To want one without the other is to miss the point (which we will discuss at length this month).
I am reading (and listening) to the angst, anger and anxiety of our current cultural climate, and I get it. Climate change, economic insecurity, epidemic addiction rates and growing unrest in our country creates a nostalgic yearning for “the good old days” while we wait suspiciously for our uncertain future to appear as bleak as predicted.
One day I walked into my son’s office (our Assistant Pastor at NSC) and noticed a book sitting on his desk – “House selling for dummies” or some such thing.
“Something I need to know? Moving? Changing careers?” I asked.
“Planning for the future,” Scott responds.
A few months pass and he comments one day at lunch, “I think I can be a UPS driver. I’ve been doing the research and I think I could do it.”
“Hmmmmmm….tell me more.” I respond. And he does.
I get it. He’s reading the same blogs that I am about the dying church and the soon-to-appear day when all pastors will serve as volunteers because no one will be able to afford a fulltime pastor; everyone will be bi-vocational (which of course means that no one will be available 24/7 for their community).
Sitting alongside his research sits another book that I know he loves more than all the rest: The Bible. When I see him reading from it day after day after day, I do not fret over his backup plans and research projects. Because although I do NOT know what it takes to sell houses OR drive a UPS truck, I do know that from Genesis through Revelation, the scriptures write of many things, not the least of which is this concept of flourishing, abundant living….and the good life. And I know my boy. I trust that he will find his way in this world, and no matter what his job title, he’ll keep showing up for people 24/7, because that’s how he rolls.
For my devos this month I’ll rely heavily on a book written by Miroslav Volf entitled Flourishing…Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World for our devotional studies. I am grateful to have it to refer to while I am inundated with doomsday messages and the enraged outcries of politicos and pundits shouting day and night about what they are against and who they hate. Join me, as we consider Volf’s take on abundant living!
The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice, doesn’t stand on the road of sinners, and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful. 2 Instead of doing those things, these persons love the Lord’s Instruction, and they recite God’s Instruction day and night! 3 They are like a tree replanted by streams of water, which bears fruit at just the right time and whose leaves don’t fade. Whatever they do succeeds. Psalm 1:1-3 CEB