Monday, May 31, 2010

When did we become the people of excess?

Our parents and the generations before them had the courage and grit of fighters. Persevering through all of the tragedies and obstacles placed before them and in the end emerging with character and soul. Some would argue that poverty has a sense of romance while others would be shocked at the idea of having nothing.

But there is some wisdom and a sense of freedom in having nothing. We would have less decisions to make, less bills to pay, less stress about debt. So what do we do? Sell everything and move to a remote location where we churn our own butter from the two cows we own? Or do we strike a fine balance between having too much and having too little. A lot easier said than done.

The hoarder in us refuses to allow us to live on faith and the belief that God will provide. Surely this abundance is Him providing, we tell ourselves, as we stock up on food we don’t eat, clothes we don’t wear, shoes that collect dust. Yes, He is providing, but we are taking way more than we need. And we are giving away a lot less than we should. We care about our neighbours a lot less. We share a whole lot less than what we used to when we all had nothing.

Some of us remember the taste of poverty and fear to taste it again. So we make sure we are provided for in more ways than necessary. In fact we over provide to our detriment. Excess, is the bane of humanity. Too much money, too much food, too many possessions, too many, too many… This thinking is destroying us. We are destroying the planet and ourselves. Look around at everything we have that we do not need.

Next time you see a hungry, homeless person take the time to give him something of yours. Something he could use. Something that will make him believe that he is not alone in his poverty.

Something that will release you from your bonds of excess.