Abundance and Variety

yellowA few years ago, our daughter and her family accompanied us to North Dakota. My grandson, then three-years old, drew a picture with yellow scribbles all over the page. “This is a picture of North Dakota,” he said showing it to me. “There’s so much wheat you can’t tell one piece from another.”

I had that same sense of abundance the first year we lived in Oregon. There was fruit everywhere and I thought it was my personal duty to make sure no berry or piece of fruit went unused! We still had some fruit I dehydrated that summer, fourteen years later, floating around in my freezer. It didn’t take me long to realize that there was no way we could eat all the food I froze, dried or canned before the next batch of fresh food began to grow. I had simply wasted time and energy trying to save it all.

And Oregon has more than one kind of fruit. There are cherries, apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, pears. . .and the list goes on. Abundance and variety–that’s what life is made of.

So why do we so often get stuck in ruts, doing the same things in the same way? Life could be interesting, but we let it be boring. How many times do we serve the same meals when there’s an endless variety of foods available? Why do we visit the same places, do the same things, talk to the same people? There is an unlimited potpourri of things to see and do, and millions of people to meet, but too often we settle for what’s familiar.

What would happen if we lived with a sense of abundance and variety? We could eat our meals at the table, in front of the fireplace, on the floor for an indoor picnic. Or if we were really desperate for change, we could engage our imaginations and, with our children, we could eat, sitting on a bed–pretending we’re in a row boat. We could go for walks in places we’ve never walked, drive a different route every time we go to visit grandparents. One day a week we could celebrate a different country, serving ethnic foods or planning activities common in that particular culture. We could step out of our comfort zones and talk to someone new or invite people into our home who have never been there. We could try a new restaurant, wear a different style clothing or sport a new hairdo.

As a child, if I told my mother I was bored, she always said, “Only boring people get bored.” She wanted me to understand there was an unending variety of things to do. There were books to read (and to write), crafts to make, people to get to know, hobbies to pursue. If I looked hard enough, she knew I’d find something to pique my interest. Mom didn’t let us sit around watching television. We had to be involved in life. How thankful I am that my mother enjoyed living.

I hope those who know me can tell I believe life is fun. And since I alone am in charge of whether or not I’m bored, I choose abundance and variety. What about you?

Bible thought for the day:
James 1:17
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Dear Father-God,
When I look around me at all you have made I am overwhelmed. As I contemplate the vastness of the universe and read in your Word that You measure it all by a span of Your fingers, I feel very small and insignificant. I see the abundance and variety You placed in creation and wonder why I would matter in the scheme of nature and history. Yet, in the middle of it all, You whisper in my ear, “I love you.” And much greater than the abundance of the gifts You’ve given, You gave Your Son as a  sacrifice for my sin so I could be free to respond to you and whisper back, “Father-God, I love you, too.”

You keep on giving. Your Word says that You have no variation or shadow. You don’t change like the moon, sometimes large, sometimes small, depending on whether You have turned away from me or are facing me. You are always the same and never live in the shadows. You are always present in me. I always have your full attention. And Lord, opening the windows of the heavens (the hugest of all things in the universe!) You pour out uncountable blessings on me. Give me eyes to see what You are pouring into my life and give me a thankful heart.

Amen

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