A Visit to Abundance

We live in a world of have and have-nots. 

I wish I could say it’s different in the Christian realm, but if anything it seems more pronounced.  It might not be a competition for wealth but the struggle for power seems to rise in the absence of financial incentive.

When I tell people I am a Christian writer they want to know if I’m legitimate or a hack. When Tim and I share we planted a church, “how big?” is inevitably the next question, and when I mention the young ladies I speak to and encourage, people seem disappointed that it’s the broken teen mom crowd I address and not the momentous “Women of Faith” tribe.

If I look to find my approval by the world’s standards of more, more, more…I will always be left wanting. 

But I don’t think Jesus would use the same measuring stick.

Typically, when I attend a Christian conference there are unspoken but tangible lines between the attendees and the speakers.  It’s like the hip bar in town and you only get to cross the rope if you are a serious VIP.  The egos are big, the fans are in awe and the competitive, “scarcity mentality” reigns supreme. 

Everyone is angling and ogling –playing the image management game and jockeying from their perceived position into the next strata of awesomeness.

I’m not a good player in this game.  Maybe I’m a bit too rebellious?  Or maybe I just care way more about what God thinks of me then the crowd.

But this last weekend I encountered something radically different – Christian superstars who were willing to pour into the peons with freedom and abandonment.

Now maybe it was the setting –a small conference over three days with serious heavy hitters and a group of writers enthralled and willing to absorb every minutia of wisdom shared, but despite the unique setting, I was amazed at the willingness of these twenty million plus best-selling authors to engage and love lavishly.

It was surreal.

When Paul Young, author of The Shack, entered the room, tears ensued.  I’m not kidding.  I witnessed it on more than one occasion.  Paul will describe an insight or a way God has revealed himself to him and bamm…someone in the crowd or at the breakfast table breaks down in big gulpy sobs of release.

Love changes the game.

Peter Strople, the most “connected man in America” is also the most humble man in the world.  When God looks to and fro for a worthy man, I imagine he sighs in satisfaction and claps with glee at Peter. 

Humility trumps power.

I could go on and on.  Mary DeMuth, George Barna, Ken Blanchard, Joel Clark, Mark Batterson, Jim Henderson, and literary agent Esther Fedorkevich…all willingly moved towards relationship despite the normal barriers of celebrity and power.

Relationship changes people.

I learned an invaluable lesson this weekend.  When someone believes in you, maybe someone further down the road you are traveling (maybe a few global best-selling authors perhaps?) and they tell you they loved reading your book proposal and they gave it their vote, paradigms change. 

Actually, my paradigm exploded.  And I want these fireworks to never end.

I am so tired of living in a world of scarcity.  My new home is in ABUNDANCE. 

I know why these authors give and give and give some more…and why their generosity flows like an endless stream.  It’s because they are connected to the river of all creativity from the author of life itself.  God’s river is lavish and deep and wide and these authors recognize the source of the river will never run dry.

Where are you living –in scarcity or abundance? 

 

Photo Credit: http://pinterest.com/themodstitch/

Comments

  1. Abundance! Great post Sam.

  2. ruthrutherford says:

    Abundance, please!
     
    Great post. I especially like your description of Peter Strople, just because it’s so right on. “When God looks to and fro for a worthy man, I imagine he sighs in satisfaction and claps with glee at Peter.” 🙂

  3. TanyaDennis says:

    Beautiful post, Sam. This was truly a unique conference for the exact reasons you articulated. And while I’m a tad embarrassed, I’m not ashamed to be the one sobbing at the breakfast table. 🙂 It is a rare and beautiful thing to engage with people so fabulously vulnerable, humble and generous. Thank you for being one of those people! I am so glad to meet you and Tim and everyone else at this conference. Surreal only begins to describe the experience and my presence there. Our God is so awesome!

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