The Antidote for Scarcity
Yesterday, one of the boys asked if I would go skydiving with him. I laughed and explained how I'm not really a risk taker. Jumping out of planes, adrenaline rushes, and grand adventures land squarely in the camp of "not really my thing."
Life (God) often pushes us into roles and moments that will stretch and define us, and occasionally we can even recognize those moments inside of them. Trying to write a book and build a community center both feel like I am taking massive risks. Opening myself up for failure, for heartache, for disappointment, for hurt. I feel grateful for the ability, however, to experience the ways the Lord can use what feels like a risk for me to show off His goodness and abundance. This doesn't necessarily mean I will succeed. If I've learned anything living in this neighborhood, it's that what on these broken sidewalks we don't always get fairytale endings. Risks won't always "pay off" in the ways the world equates with success, because we need failure in order to choose radical hope and dependance on God regardless of the outcome.
I am finding myself lately with tension in my shoulders and a quick leaning towards despair. Comparison and envy sneak into the cracks left in my faith and confidence. In the world of non-profits and fundraising and book publishing, there is a strong temptation to view everything as a zero sum competition. More money for that ministry or program means less for ours. More book deals or "followers" for that person means less chances for me.
But we know better. Followers of Jesus, particularly those familiar with suffering and the margins, know that the economy and Kingdom of God upend everything. Last night, I took pictures at a fundraiser for a nonprofit school that I believe in deeply. They are doing hard beautiful work in a neighborhood close to ours, and I support them in the small ways I can by offering my talents behind a camera to tell their story. Their speaker was Lecrae, and they talked about their very first fundraiser three years ago and how they raised over ten times the amount of money we raised at our first fundraiser last year. Immediately I felt an impending sense of not-enough. The enemy whispered seeds of discontent and competition into the soil of my already-anxious heart.
The antidote to a scarcity mindset is always radical generosity. For those of us who know in our deepest core that God's economy upends everything, the way to move past fear and anxious striving is to give more away. To practice the spiritual discipline of sharing our resources and influence and time and talents until we experience afresh the abundance of a God who owns it all anyways.
So today, I am going to practice giving more away, leveraging what I have to champion the people around me doing Kingdom work and telling beautiful stories.
Start here: watch this beautiful video for the school I mentioned (Peace Prep), and consider supporting their work.
Later this week, I am going to post book recommendations and ministries (besides our own) that I think are amazing and inspiring and worth plugging into. Because there is enough to go around. More for them does not mean less for me, and I will practice radical generosity until I believe it.