Saturday, January 31, 2009

Enjoy the Manna Before Entering the Promised Land

Before entering the promised land, the Israelites had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. God provided the manna for sustenance and all of their basic needs were met. Yet, they complained. They couldn't enter until behavioral changes were made internally.
For me, the promised land is living debt free including the mortgage: I want to live on little materially but contribute hugely to the communities I am part of at work, home/neighborhood, church, my city, globally. The path I've been on in simple living and reducing consumption is my manna and I'm not complaining.

If I do this right and over a long period of time, I can fund my own projects or collaborate with others on a much larger scale. I don't need to wait on government to do what I know needs to be done. You don't have to be a millionaire to deliver the goods to people in the global and local communities. An example: If I choose to not replace my functional 13 year-old sofa and use the same $800-$1000 to assist someone else in need, I've chosen to act in a fruitful and sustainable way and I feel good about it. I personally grow and help lift someone else. Sheer joy! I'm not just talking about food, clothes, shelter. If my neighbor down street decides to go to college in a couple of years, why shouldn't I be one of his benefactors? That's way more important to me than buying more stuff to look at and get dusty!

I already partner with a couple of charities who do BIG projects globally by sending checks. One of my charities takes shoes to 3rd world villages in Central and South America and another digs wells in African villages to provide clean water. Another one supports HIV/AIDS orphanages in Africa and educational access. I am told that the children are reminded that many of us here in America love them and this is how we show it and if we never make the trip, they know we care. That's what life is all about, to me. I am free to use my skills to make life fun for me and walk with others in fulfilling their dreams. We are connected.

At home, I have many opportunities to care for children through tutoring, buying them shoes, clothes, taking them for haircuts, etc. on my own. My very effective community church lives up to its name and has ongoing support for practically every adult and childhood need but it also consistently teaches personal responsibility in digging out of a pit through education and training: We'll help you out but you still have to do the work. We aren't waiting for government to sustain us, God is our source and we are filled with an abundance of education, abilities, talent, and experience among us. We pray for God's help but we aren't waiting for mystical miracles that we are already practically empowered to perform ourselves. Faith without works is dead!

The best things in life are still free from the cost of money but freedom isn't free. I work at it everyday and I am better for it. I am breaking out. Freedom!

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