Skip to main content

the lie of scarcity

Helloooooo!! I have been meaning to write a blog for a few days now, but with the boat-load of projects I have had on my plate lately (and still have), intent has not translated into action. However, with 3 of the 9 projects behind me, I believe I can leave the 6 to play unsupervised for a bit while I write something here.

I watched a video of a talk by Dr. Brene Brown a few weeks back (or maybe only a week, I have very little concept of how fast time is passing) that got me thinking about the culture of scarcity that we live in. She talks about the messages we are bombarded with: we are never good enough, safe enough, certain enough, perfect enough, extraordinary enough. And the sad thing is, we believe these messages. We find it hard to be thankful, joyful, content, and at peace.

She talks about how our desire for the extraordinary, the thrill, the special, has eclipsed our ability to value the ordinary in our lives. In fact, the ordinary is where we can find the most joy, she says. (I know some of this is the result of living in a consumer society, but we can't lay all the blame there.)

I recognise this tendency to see the scarcity in my life. Right now, I have a shortage of hours in the day to accomplish everything that I would like to do. Some things just have to be put on hold until the semester is over. I miss spending lazy Saturdays with Dean and hanging out with friends without thinking about what I need to do when I get home. I would like an abundance of writing ideas, more groceries in my fridge, multiple scholarships, to have an automatic YES to every request and application I make, and to be at the top of my class. I do not have any of these things right now, but there is no scarcity in my life.

The scarcity is a lie. It tells me I am hungry when there is a table full of food. It tells me I am lonely when I am loved. It tells me I never have good things happen to me when I woke up this morning with all my limbs functioning and another opportunity to work and learn and love. It tells me I am not wealthy when the gift of valuable life is rising and falling in my chest every moment. It lies to me. It pressures me to try harder, work harder, and sometimes, to just give up. Scarcity lie, I will not invite you into my life anymore.

I live in the land of plenty. I will live in gratitude and joy. I will see the beauty in the ordinary. I will take pleasure in eating a piece of fruit, in laying my head on a pillow, in watching the water come out of my faucet. I will take an extra moment to revel in the comfort of putting on well-worn shoes. I will make every hello and goodbye count. I will listen for the unique sounds of each voice I hear today, and admire everything red. This is my world and I get to experience it anew every day! I am blessed! I am rich! I live in the land of plenty!

Here is the link to the video of Brene Brown.

This is a picture from the garden that I used to have in St-Lazare. I still get to enjoy it through pictures, but without any of the weeding!


Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.


When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …