By Pastor Paula Burchill
I have this problem every summer! Summer has barely begun and already I’m worrying that the time is going by too quickly. That I won’t be able to do everything I want to do this summer—that we won’t get to camp enough, go to the beach enough, eat on our deck enough, just sit and enjoy the sunshine enough.
It is a scarcity mentality—that problem that always seems to plague us as humans–the belief that there isn’t enough that makes you sort of tense up and wake up in the wee hours of the morning, filled with worry.
I told myself that this year would be different, that I would live in the moment. We even made a family summer bucket list that we posted on the refrigerator so that by the end of the summer we wouldn’t find ourselves wishing we would have done a bunch of things that we didn’t get a chance to do. The list remains with nothing crossed off and I am fighting to live in the moment.
What is it about us that does this? Likely it has something to do with living in the Northwest and how precious the days of warmth and sunshine truly are. But I also think there is something deeper in us that doesn’t believe that there will be enough. Enough time, resources, whatever it is that we are currently worrying about not having enough of.
Again and again in the bible, God tries to remind us that it is the enemy who wants us to believe there isn’t enough. Because when we believe that, we turn inward and don’t live as the free people we are—but as people under the tyranny of scarcity.
In John, when Jesus was preaching to a great crowd of people, it came time for dinner and the disciples started worrying that there wouldn’t be enough food. There wasn’t—and it was too far to walk and get food for everyone. But then they found a little boy who had brought his lunch—5 loaves and 2 fishes, which Jesus took, blessed, broke and gave to everyone—and there was enough for all, with an extravagant amount left over.
I think maybe I need to put a picture of 5 loaves and 2 fishes on my fridge next to my summer bucket list. Whether Jesus performed a miracle and multiplied the food or whether the miracle was that the boy inspired everyone to share their lunches [as some have speculated], I think the point is that we need to stop focusing on what we don’t have and trust God to give us what we need.
The fact is that we will likely not get to cross everything off of our list. But does that mean we won’t still have a good summer? I have to remember that it doesn’t. I have to trust God with each day. See each day as the gift that it is, and to know that even if the time flies by [even when it flies by, actually], there will be enough.
Because life is just fleeting like that. And because of its fleeting nature, we need to be intentional about enjoying it. Not because we HAVE to, because time is flying and before we know it, it will be time for school to start and the rain will be back. No, we enjoy life because God gave it to us as a gift. All that we have comes from God and God will give us what we need–loaves and fishes—enough for all. God, open my eyes to see it, and help me to relax and trust in your abundance!