What An Abundance Is Not

As we gather together and ask the Lord's blessing this Thanksgiving Day we might use the word abundance to describe our sense of gratitude. Many will have an abundance of food around the table while others will not have an abundance. We may talk about the abundance of freedom's shared by Americans or, if you are at a table that values deep discussion, you may talk about freedoms denied to people.

Abundance is a fine word to use, but sometimes we stretch the word abundance to embrace more than what it really is. To put it another way, we sometimes think that abundance as unlimited when in fact abundance is not unlimited. 

In a recent TEDRadio Hour one of the speakers shared the example that when we go into the supermarket and see tomatoes for sale everyday of the year, then we begin to believe the abundance of food provided in winter is unlimited. Nature provides an abundance in each season, but the reality is it is not unlimited. You can get all the root veggies you can imagine in winter, but no strawberries. Summer has a load of berries but can't get a pumpkin.

For the most part, nature provides an oxymoron: a limited abundance.

This Thanksgiving may you come to see the limited abundance of nature so that we may give thanks for the deep abundance of creation.