There was so much to be thankful for this morning. So much. I am blessed to be a road cyclist in Sydney. I love it and I can’t get enough of it. This morning’s ride began in the dark and we were able to experience the sunrise on our bikes descending through clouds and into gorges while seeing the morning light change as it hits the clouds. I had a delicious flat-white to top it off. How could you not be happy. How could you not be content. It takes pride and jealousy leading to a discontentment says what I have today right now is not good enough. And God is not enough. And it is only human to slip back into that pattern of thinking. So every day I must remind myself that indeed God is enough.
The statement of the heart: “God you are enough for me today” is not some spiritual lofty statement disconnected from the reality that involves our bodies and minds (senses and emotions). Somehow the more you to get to the place of saying that with authenticity, the more you find that your contentment doesn’t come from the things the world tells you you need to have to be content. But you will find a real contentment/joy rising up that is connected to remarkably simple earthly experiences of beauty (a sunrise) and food (coffee) and etc. You get much more joy and contentment from the smallest of things and from the things in front of you. That is my experience anyway.
I may be labelled an idealist for saying the following, but I believe that a world of 7 billion people could co-exist in contentment without poverty (this word needs defining but not here). Not a contentment that is based on a worldly system that tells us you must have, and you must have more, but upon a system or reality that says what I have is enough.
In this reality there would be a sharing: “What I have is enough, and what I have is yours and what is yours is mine”, and in that sharing, a deep sense of community. In that community a deep sense of belonging and purpose.
If we could for a moment redefine the words abundance and extravagance. If we could begin to think of abundance as a mindset, rather than a position of ‘having’ or ‘owning’. And if we could begin to think of extravagance as an attitude we can take up regarding what we already have. Then perhaps we could be a generation of rich capitalists that could do away with the excesses of such a society that is sucking the world dry. I don’t think there has ever been a richer, more discontented, excessive society than western capitalism. But if we could begin to get a sense of the beauty and freedom of simplicity and contentment, found firstly in God (I don’t believe there is another alternative), perhaps we have the beginnings of a solution to world poverty.
So continue to dream with me for a little while yet – such a group of rich western capitalist entrepreneurs would not see giving away most of their earnings away as ‘sacrifice’, but as freedom. It would not be a burden, but a joy. For they understand that ultimate contentment is not found in having, it is found in simply ‘being’, it is found in a simplicity of lifestyle and a depth in relationships.
And of course, humility is key. A humility that is expressed by the daily reminding that “God you are enough for me”.