“…for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance.” -Philippians 4:11-12
Oh, that I could learn to live as Paul did. We are constantly bombarded with news that has many stories of both abundance and deprivation – billionaires (not just millionaires anymore!) with multiple yachts, houses on many continents, watches they wear on their wrists that are worth more than a year’s salary for most people. At the same time, we daily encounter those who are unhoused, that lack the basic needs for survival, for whom the price of a cup of coffee might sustain them for days.
And yet, Paul reminds us that at some level, we are all equal. Does this mean we should abandon our work for social justice? No! But we should be aware of our own desires. We can realize when we feel deprived that perhaps we are privileged.
I recently went to my local drive-through to purchase a cup of coffee (plain, no foo-foo drinks for me, thank you!). When I went to pay, I was informed that the person in front of me had already paid for it! I felt myself filled with delight and a sense of abundance. I told the barista I would like to pay for the person behind me to keep it going. It turned out to be three times what my single cup of coffee cost! I laughed in delight! Although it was much more than I expected to pay when I first turned into the parking lot, in no way did it seriously impact my financial situation.
The idea of sharing the feelings I experienced was well worth the few dollars it cost me. I said a quick prayer of thanks and went on with my day.
My prayer today is that I continue to experience God’s abundance and share it with others each and every day.
Talib Huff is a member of the retreat team at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center in Citrus Heights, California. You can contact him at [email protected].