Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning” (Joel 2:12, ESV)
We are invited to return to the Lord with fasting, weeping, and mourning. These three things are associated with loss. The idea of fasting, weeping, and mourning is not something we are given to. We would rather feast, rejoice, and celebrate.
But discovering an abundant life is not about filling our lives with more things. It is having space in our lives for what is most meaningful. That means “losing out” on many of the things that so many around us are striving for.
When you lose, you gain. And when you gain, you lose. More possessions mean we have more to maintain, more to clean, and more to store. Being involved in more activities means more rushing, more juggling, and more distraction. But what do these things add to our lives?
By adding more to our lives, we lose the margin to appreciate the things in our lives. Even more important, we lose the capacity to recognize the Giver of every good thing.
Why do we have such an inclination to maximize our possessions and our schedules? Because we want to make the most of life! And we are told the more the better.
Yet, so many people are maxed out. So many people live with a mentality that they do not have enough time or money. Consider that maybe the reason you don’t have enough time or money is because you are trying to do more with these things than God intended for you to do. How many of us feel trapped by our possessions or our schedules? It is not us that control them, but them that control us.
The abundant life is not doing more. It is not gaining more possessions. It is letting go and letting God. It is trusting in him in a deeper way. It is resting (not striving) in his grace.
We may lose out on some of the things the world is striving for. But the question to be asked is if we have really lost anything at all.