|Sketch for Predawn Light (in process) 18 x 24 charcoal|
Names, titles, descriptions, they are a funny thing. A word can be used so often and in a particular way, that the mentioning of it generates a "group think" vision. Like the word today, "prosperity." Mention it in most circles and especially Christian circles and immediately, we think of a pocket full of money, cars, large homes and full closets. But what about prosperity among the middle class or the working class? Can it exist there as well?
Since childhood, I have lived in a house with full cabinets and well stocked refrigerators. Even when "times were tight" for my wife and I, there is always plenty of food to eat. I have always had a change of clothes and a car to drive. And yet, so very often I consider what I don't have and I get sad. Not only do I get sad, I get to praying for more. But as it is, I consider what I have as well and while that doesn't cause me to pause and be thankful each time, it does take the edge off my complaining. In truth, while we have, we are always in search of "more" or "different."
The word prosperity, when applied to my situation and probably the lives of nearly everyone reading this, fits our lives. It isn't a matter of what you lack but what you have. Certainly, many would rather have bank accounts with near unlimited money; I don't know about you, but the thought of having more money, immediately brings up the things I would "trade" my money to buy! I don't stop at the thought of having money, but I think of buying and spending and filling up a house with stuff. I imagine a life of full days and luxurious vacations. But in the best sense, I have all I need N-O-W! I might want an abundance of rest, but I have this uncanny ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat! I can sit in a waiting room full of people and if I'm tired, doze off in heartbeat! So do I need more rest or to manage better what I have 'at hand?'
Perhaps stress comes because we are always focused on what we don't have, what our lives aren't. What if we focused on the blessings in our hand, on our shoulders and on the plate in front of us? Would we come to realize we are prosperous?