I find it incredibly ironic that the past couple of months has seen such a spike in the use of the word “abundance.” Its frequency in everyday speech is up 325% since mid-February. Actually, I made that figure up; but I’m sure it’s close to the truth. And I love it! Because “abundance” is such a great word.
How many times have you heard the phrase, “an abundance of caution,” used over the last few weeks? The reason I think that’s so ironic is because “an abundance of caution” is the professed rationale behind the call to stay at home. And while it is having a definite impact on reducing the spread of the Corona virus, at the same time it is tearing us apart. It’s too much; and many people have decided to throw caution to the wind. They only want some caution, a little bit of safeguarding. Abundance just seems to be going too far.
The problem is, we’re just too used to scarcity—to running out, not having enough. We don’t know what to do with abundance. Why should caution be any different than toilet paper, hand sanitizer, ventilators, and the stimulus package funds? We naturally expect the demand to exceed supply. So why bother? Perhaps that’s why we are always encouraged to practice this abundance of caution. Because it takes a continual effort to convince ourselves that we can ever have plenty of anything.
Like I said, abundance is such a great word! Too great to limit it to being cautionary. How about, while we are at it (“all in this together”), we also practice an abundance of patience, an abundance of empathy, an abundance of love? Don’t dwell on scarcity! Turn to our Lord and Savior Jesus, who declares, “I have come to give you life—life in all its abundance!” [John 10:10] And may the only thing we ever run out of be excuses.