Too much is never enough –
the paradox of abundance
By Corrie Lynne Player
Mar. 8, 2018
Much of the U.S. economy has sputtered and stumbled for the past several years, shocking those of us who’ve been accustomed to ever-increasing real estate values and soaring stock prices.
Bailouts and entitlement programs were touted as being the solution to unemployment and foreclosures.
It’s pretty obvious to me that spending trillions of dollars and swelling government payrolls isn’t doing much to put people back to work.
Now there are riots in Europe over cutting entitlement programs.
Rioting—loudly and destructively expressing your opinion—doesn’t accomplish anything. It just makes matters worse.
As a society, we seem to be focusing on all the wrong things. We’re more and more selfish, and we never seem to have enough. There’s something seriously wrong with a perspective that insists “my way or the highway” in personal and business relationships.
In many areas of the world, luxury consists of owning a bicycle and going to bed with a full stomach. Few people in those areas own their homes and wouldn’t understand our preoccupation with home ownership.
Not so long ago, early in the 20th century, my great-grandparents owned or rented simple, small homes without indoor plumbing or electricity. They and the rest of my family were grateful for enough food, warm shelter and reliable transportation.
Today, I’ve noticed considerable whining about being forced to put up with earbuds instead of wireless personal electronics. A friend told me her teenage son threw a tantrum about not having a touch-screen cellphone that downloads movies. I’m sorry to say that her situation isn’t unusual.
There’s a disconnect here that troubles me.
Instead of being satisfied with enough, too many of us want more.
The average size of an American house has nearly doubled in the last decade. Not coincidentally, that happened as the real estate bubble swelled to the bursting point.
Ingratitude and selfishness are rampant in our society, leading to obesity in our bodies and starvation of our spirits. The more we have, the further we turn away from God, the Source of everything good.
Repeatedly in scripture I read about the rich forsaking faith and trusting in what their fingers have made, raising idols of gold and silver to take the place of God.
Sadly, turning away from God doesn’t take very long.
Laziness and ease become habitual. Ruts grow deeper, and too many of us are less and less inclined to climb out of them.
Instead, I’d like to urge you (and me) to focus on what we can learn from the very real economic problems that beset us and the rest of the world.
Columnist Armstrong Williams spoke a profound truth when he said, “As we gain perspective and reaffirm our faith, obstacles in our path start to seem less obstructive and more instructive.”
When I read Williams’ words, I pondered what my husband and I could do as we’ve faced unreliable clients who failed to come through and pay for work already accomplished.
At first, I was up in arms, wanting to file “breach of contract” against those clients.
But I soon realized that nothing gets settled in court. Only the lawyers make money.
Instead, Gary and I have tried to use the time to open ourselves to opportunities in environmental engineering, ground water research and development, etc.
While we still are pursuing investors for the commercial application of our process patents, we’re spending more time interacting with our family and friends.
We’re even stepping beyond our comfort zones to help those less fortunate.
We try to give an act of service every day. Kind of ambitious, but the definition of service can be something as simple as sending a note to an ill friend or calling someone who lives alone.
We now know just how much we have to be thankful for and give praise to our God, the Source of abundance and life.
If you’ve discovered how to be happy with what you have instead of wanting more, please email me at email@example.com.