Scarcity and Abundance: How to Get the Right Information About Ourselves

We're all off track just a little. Someone has forgotten their first love, someone has left off doing the most important things, and someone else has set aside who they want to be in favor of being what everyone expects.

We're all guilty on this narrow road, tripping each other up with our stumblings and pushing each other around with our grumblings.

We're all drowning in an abundance of information but starving with a scarcity of truth.

Scarcity and Abundance

I remember when the first thing I wanted to do in the morning, after lunches were made and coffee was brewing, was to sit at the table with my Bible and a good study and just dig in.

Now the first thing I want to do is read information, and sometimes I approach my Bible that way. Sad truth.

Ten or fifteen years ago there wasn't any less information, but there were far fewer ways to get it and, it seems to me, far less false information to wade through. Everything is accessible now. Everything is instantly viewable and there are no shortages of opinions on a limitless number of events, pseudo-events, and uneventful details of the personal lives of people we don't even know.

I never remember feeling like there was a scarcity of information.

I never missed what I didn't know I was missing and I never wished for faster news from around the globe. What we got was enough.

Now we get an abundance and a need has been filled where there was no need in the first place. This is the abundance that brings us down and makes me want to be a Luddite, only with an iPhone and Amazon Prime and Insatgram, please.

I don't really want all the information and news-on-demand to go away. I just need a way to deal with abundance.

Scarcity and Abundance

I was talking with a friend the other day and they were sharing a conviction they've been feeling from the Lord. Our talk was fresh on heals of this rebuke from God and my friend was raw and broken and seeing themselves all to clearly.

This is a gift, I thought.

I tried to find better words. No one wants to hear you call their pain a gift, but this truth was a blessing and how long do we all tend to go along with the status quo, never seeing ourselves clearly, never recognizing our own sin except to point it out in others? How often do we receive a rebuke?

And that was the difference—my friend was receiving it and letting the pain of it burrow in deep. They hadn't found a way out yet. They weren't looking for me to show them the way or give them any counsel.

They were living in the abundance of information about themselves and examining it in light of God's word.

This is a gift.

Scarcity and Abundance

All of our interactions can be flavored with a creeping sense of our own failure, our own lack. A consuming thought of ourselves can narrow our vision so much that the world becomes us and them, a tunnel vision of self-absorption, like you know too much about your own self and maybe everyone else knows it, too.

An abundance of the wrong information can be worse than the scarcity of truth. The devil loves to whisper lies and sometimes he takes a truth about us and runs with it. And we believe it.

But we also have an abundance of information about everyone and everything else. We can dial in 24/7 to news that will inform or entertain or scare us, and the exhausting amount of discernment it takes to wade through truth or fiction is ridiculous.

Truth is scarce.

Time to reflect is scarce.

Information is easy and abundant.

It's time to pray for the truth about ourselves.

*****

When we have something in abundance we tend to neglect it, and we love things the most when they are gone.

When my dahlias were exploding late summer, I let so many fall, unappreciated, to the ground. Yesterday I cut them all down and bedded them in for winter, and three precious blooms came inside to a vase, the table, the home longing for more fresh flowers now that their time had passed.

They are either annoyingly prolific or fondly remembered, and there is only a short peak when they are appropriately appreciated.

So much like truth.

In the supply and demand economy of information, the truth about ourselves gets backwashed by too many watered-down distractions. We can learn any number of things, be informed to the utmost, entertained to death; and we can miss the gift of learning a hard thing about ourselves.

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. {Psalm 36:7-9 NKJV}

The glow of the information superhighway is not the light to see ourselves by. The hum of a busy life and whir of a frenetic mind will blur the truth about God and us and the world we are living in.

We're all off track a little and needing this truth about ourselves in the right kind of abundance—the kind where we don't look for a way out because we see the truth as a gift.