The Abundance of Life
"I HATE abundance!" declares Ebenezer Scrooge after seeing and smelling the spices and foods of Christmas. He quickly dismisses them as unnecessary, unwanted and costly diversions. His feelings are clear: abundance - bad. Whatever is left behind - good. Too much of a good thing is never good, according to Mr. Scrooge.
I hope that many of us probably feel a bit of abundance these days, post-holidays. Gifts. Food. Wine. Family. Laughter. Days off together. Visits. Decorations. All of it in great supply.
Abundance is too many gifts shipped from the aunties and relatives back East. Boxes piled up. Toys that make noise that the kids probably don't need. Abundance is the in-laws visiting for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! And more visitors arriving so that everyone has a roommate. Abundance is wrapping holiday gifts for a full day, getting 4 paper cuts in the process. Abundance is holiday sugar cookies, followed by holiday chocolate truffles, chased down with holiday sweet mulled cider. Abundance is too much of everything. Too much of anything.
But flip the script on abundance and take a fresh perspective on it. Too many gifts from aunties means aunties and relatives who love my children and want them to smile from ear to ear for this holiday season because of the wrapped gifts and the boxes to open. The in-laws visiting is a welcome inconvenience, for they sacrificed much to share this precious time with us, and they continue to sacrifice daily as they endure tight living conditions and movement among our unfamiliar home. Wrapping gifts for hours with paper cuts along the way is a clear, visual representation of the abundance in life that comes with financial flexibility, which can never be taken for granted or ignored for it stands in such sharp contrast to what we know most people in this world are afforded. Holiday cookies? Yeah - too much sugar. We were told during our tour in Colonial Williamsburg that big bellies were the most visible sign of wealth. Those who have can feast. Those who don't, stand thin. So apparently, my expanding waistline is abundance I'm going to flaunt and enjoy!!
Let's be clear. Not everyone enjoys abundance. There are more people than we can possibly count who are desperately in need of the basics for life, forget the extras and the abundance that is listed above. For that reason alone, it seems pretty awful to be someone who decries its presence in our life. It is, by all measures, to be celebrated. Enjoyed. Valued. And welcomed in our lives, even when those lives become busier than we think we can handle.
The abundance of life IS life. It IS living. And it IS, by definition, more than we need and sometimes more than we can handle. But don't bah humbug it so fast. Take a moment to remember what abundance in your life actually means. And how you can honor it during the remainder of this holiday season and throughout the coming year. Celebrating the abundance in your life is celebrating your life, and all that it brings. Too much of a good thing can be great. Paper cuts and big bellies included. Maybe we'll try for some low-sugar abundance come January....