I’m grateful for the Haves.
I’m a “positive spin” kind of person.
It’s important, I feel, to focus on the positive elements of life. It’s easy to focus on what we don’t have. To get overwhelmed, swept away in the raging stream of Have-Nots. The treadmill sprint of comparison. Never ending, circuitous route. Road most often taken, yet going nowhere.
Yes, I am thankful for the Haves.
Sometimes the spring rains come along with the spring thaw, and the water of the river of Have-Nots rises and churns. It runs downstream too swiftly for me. Emotions rise. Images from the outside and from the inside assail my weakened mind. The Should-Have count rises along with the murky boiling stream.
I have a Facebook feed.
I am willing to bet you do too.
Is it like mine, filled with beautiful things? I’ve blocked the rancor. The constant bicker and nag. Click bait. Political trash talk. These aren’t good for me. (Neither for you, I would be willing to bet…)
Instead my feed is filled with beautiful things. Ministry posts – inspirational quotes against a sepia-style color filtered mountaintop, a 20-somethings brunette, her curly hair blown gently across her pure white top gazing at the sunset.
A women’s ministry post. Topic: learning to be content. And yet, is that the twinge of comparison in my heart? It’s hard to feel stirred toward contentment gazing at your picture perfect living room, clean whites and grays, a teapot sitting artfully next to the bouquet of daisies. And there you sit; surrounded by your gorgeous friends. What is everyone, like a size 4? It must be nice. To have that kind of time. And money. And makeup crew.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d rather see this than internet click bait. I can be so very encouraging. And so very uplifting. And yet….
And then there’s the food. Don’t get me started.
So many restaurants to visit. So much beautiful, delectable foods to consume. I want to visit every coffee shop in my area. So I “like” every page I can find. It’s fun. But it’s hard not to feel the greed for more and more and more and more.
Somehow my Haves seem less significant. Less illustrious against the light of your perfect body, perfect home, perfect get-together so, perfect mountainside adventure….
But I want to be grateful for my Haves. Which in light of your Haves seem so much less than I need. So I’m trying something new.
I’ve been trying to fill my feed with more Have-Nots.
Have-Nots for which I am incredibly grateful.
I’m grateful for my Have-Nots.
I Have Not air strikes over my city.
I Have Not machine gun fire on the next street over.
I Have Not fear of deportation.
I Have Not a father or brother attempting a harrowing journey across the war and to lands unknown which may or may not be welcoming.
I Have Not worries about whether I may eat or not today.
I Have Not scars or wounds on my body from war.
I Have Not family killed by terrorism.
I Have Not fear of reading my Bible in public.
I Have Not danger of death if I share my faith.
I Have Not the sight of children dying from exposure.
I am so overwhelmingly grateful for my Have-Nots.
And I want to surround myself by Have-Nots. By those who Have-Not.
Because, it’s so easy to forget.
To think of my Haves as lacking.
To forget to be grateful for my Have-Nots.
And to forget the importance, no, the absolute responsibility to share my Haves. To be content with my Haves. And to enlarge my tent, not to include more Haves for myself. But to reach out with Haves to those who Have-Not.
“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head…Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me,…'”
Matthew 8:20, 22a