Thursday, May 19, 2011

How To Get Enough

There are two ways to get enough. One way is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.
G.K. Chesterton 

 You know you have enough when you 
are able to live and to give.
Nathan Lee Lewis

(Okay, so I am not  G.K., but his quote inspired me.)

My wife and I have been downsizing for the last few years. With every move, we have gotten rid of more furniture and more possessions. We will downsize once more very soon and give many of our items to the church or to charity. To do so is not a reflection of our generosity or giving nature, rather, it is because we have enough. Having enough means you are able to live and give. Our dwellings over the years have gotten smaller and smaller. Now, being empty-nesters, once again, we can downsize and give. We will very soon move into the smallest dwelling in which we have ever lived, and have fewer possessions than we have ever had, and we have never been more content.

One of our fellow parishioners was surprised recently to discover that we did not own a house. I imagine the parishioner made the same assumption about us that many do. They see our contentment. They see the dependable car we drive. They see we are able to give to the church and to tithe on a regular basis. Based on this standard, they assume we are wealthy or at least well-to-do. We are neither. We are just blessed, regularly, by our loving God who knows what we have need of before we even ask and is able to give to us more than we could ever ask or hope. He gives good gifts to His children and allows us to do the same.

A good friend of mine used to sing the old negro spiritual which adequately states the life we lead:

You can't beat God giving, no matter how hard you try. 
And as sure as you are living, and the Lord is in heaven on high. 
The more you give, the more he gives to you. 
So keep on giving. 
Why? Because,  it's really  true. 
It's true that you can't beat God giving no matter how hard you try.

"Give and it shall be given unto you. Pressed down, shaken together, running over shall men pour into your bosom."

We live and we give. We have enough. How about you?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

If Captain Kirk Were Orthodox...

My wife and I have been learning to chant all of the Orthodox services. We had to sleep all of Bright Week after participating in Pascha week. As our beloved priest was patiently giving us another lesson today, I could not help but think of a clip from the television series, Star Trek. If Captain Kirk were Orthodox, he might explain the process of learning to chant the services something like this:

Maybe it would be a relief if someone just gave me the Vulkan Nerve Pinch!