The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
As I look around at my fellow travelers today, "How many people are really experiencing an Abundant Life?"
Tethered to their smart phones, it seems like everybody is busy, but no one is smiling.
Watching the television screens like the Zombies on Walking Dead, they seem to be pre-occupied, but no one is really communicating.
I sit back and watch people walk by and just think, "Have we got this all wrong?"
We try our best to stay busy as if there's some sort of identity found in the ability to fill up our daily schedule. We push the limits of work now that we have devices that can check our email in real time, connect with our friends on our favorite social media platform, and all the while it seems like life is just passing.
I can't help but ask, "Is this the abundant life Jesus called for?"
The people who seem to have money would naturally fall into the category of those we assume are the most abundant, but they look eerily similar to those who don't have.
The people with power walk briskly down the hallway and we assume they have all they've worked for and achieved. But something inside of me senses the same mundane rat wheel kind of life the others are trolling about on.
And then, I met a man who shines shoes.
He's happy to be alive.
He's interested in the people who are sitting at his station.
He's asking real life questions about where people are going, how long they'll be there, what they think about the up coming superbowl, and what they enjoy.
Before long, I've eavesdropped on a conversation that may be mistaken for two long lost friends catching up with one another in the sacred moment of being human.
So why can't we get this?
Abundant life has little to do with money, power, prestige, fashion, or the self introspective life most of us think is apropriate. This old man shoe shiner has just taught me a lesson. Abundant life is living in the moment with our fellow mankind.
It's exploring and un-earthing the stories of the other.
It's celebrating the victories of life together, and mourning the times we can share.
Abundance doesn't come out of the idea of separation and self creating...
Abundance comes out of the wealth of sharing with one another.
Jesus said, "It's better to give than to receive." And I believe abundance comes out of the wealth attached to giving.
Giving a smile.
Giving of time.
Giving of care.
Giving of whatever need the other has in this moment.
Yes, this is abundance.
The Journey IS the abundance, and the destination is a figment we made up to justify our business.
May we be a people who find abundance in the now, WITH one another.