11Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty.
Being content with what you have seems such a simple premise, yet so many people including me get so overwhelmed with things that we forget to find contentedness in anything. Moving this last time from Tuscaloosa to Huntsville has made be hyper-aware of all the things I have that are more than just plenty—those things that I have collected over my 45 years now seem more of a burden than a blessing. I have a home in Huntsville with all my important stuff—furniture, books, Gus, and my cats.
Each time I return to our shell of a house in Tuscaloosa, I wonder if I really need anything that I have left there. I know that I don’t need all those books, but I love my books and cannot just turn them out into the Friends of Library sale. I also have other things that I realize now are holding me back from living a contented life. I need to learn to let go of those things that I don’t truly need. Too much stuff creates an atmosphere of oppression. I do not need stuff to be happy; however, it is sometimes hard to let go.
I am also truly thankful that I have never really known what it is to have little. In my car on my way to work, I see people every day who are walking in the cold with bags of groceries or with a stroller carrying a child. I don’t always give thanks to God for my car, but I should. In the grocery store, I can buy pretty much anything I want without worrying about how much it costs. When there is something I want or need, I can usually buy it without having to give up medical care, car insurance, heat, food, medicine, or clothing. That is not so for many people in our community and world. Take some time today to be thankful for what you have and remember those who know what it is to have little. Give your time, talents, or money to a food bank, a homeless shelter, a soup bowl, or other ministry that helps those who have little. Your reward will be plenty.