"Abundance: Trust vs. Hoarding" by Barb Szyszkiewicz (Franciscanmom.com)

#MondayBlogs: Abundance: Trust vs. Hoarding

I have a pantry in my basement. This is an old photo, taken when all the kids still lived here full-time and we went through several boxes of cereal each week. My pantry is less crowded now, because there are only three of us here full-time. I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of shopping for only three (or four, when my daughter’s home from college). This means that I wind up buying too much, and some of it gets wasted because it goes bad before I can use it.

But I feel the need to keep that pantry (and my upright freezer) full.

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

There’s this threshold in my mind — this imaginary line I must not cross. I was down to less than a quart of milk on Wednesday, and I knew I wouldn’t get to the store before Friday. Never mind that I live 1/4 mile from the nearest gallon of milk; I was expending a lot of mental energy over the lack of “enough” milk in my house. It’s not like anyone around here (except me) even regularly uses milk. But that milk level was below my threshold of comfort, and it bothered me until Saturday morning when I finally made it to the store. We still had some milk in the jug. We had not run out. And as I said already, my neighborhood is not food-insecure.

Thinking about this gets me a little anxious — even now that I have almost a full gallon of milk in the fridge.

Where do I draw the line between having too much stuff that I “might need someday” and having enough to use for what I need right now, as well as something to share?

Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? (Luke 12: 25-26)

I’ve run into this issue before with medical supplies, but that’s different. VERY different. Medical supplies are non-negotiable, and I do need to be very aware of what we have, what we need, and whether there is enough.

As for the other things, how do I stop feeling that I must fill that available pantry space and instead be grateful for what is there? How do I dial back my threshold of “enough” when there is obviously plenty there? How do I trust enough to share from that abundance?

Because I really want to stop the worrying that kicks in when there’s only a quart of milk in the house.

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz

Lawn Chair Catechism 6.0

LawnChairCatechism-550x183When I was a teenager and young adult, I attended retreats every year or so. It seemed that every retreat featured a “Trust Walk” and a “Trust Fall.”

If you’ve never had the pleasure, here’s how those work.

In a “Trust Walk” you are given a partner and a blindfold. Once your eyes are covered your partner leads you around, using verbal and nonverbal cues to make sure you don’t trip, fall, or walk into things (or other blindfolded people).

“Trust Falls” involve allowing yourself to fall backwards into the waiting arms of a person or group of people who stand behind you, ready to catch you before you crash to the ground. You can’t see the people who will catch you–you have to trust that they are there and that they’re paying attention.

cover-formingintentionaldisciplesWhile these exercises are good team-builders and ice-breakers, I’m not sure that they say all there is to say about trust where faith is concerned. In Chapter 6 of Forming Intentional Disciples, the topic is trust:  not of the blind variety, but trust with eyes wide open. The author states on page 134,

“Many people don’t trust God or the Church, but they do trust a Christian in their life. Maybe they trust you. You may be the bridge that one day will lead them to a life-changing encounter with Christ.”

For someone who is just getting started in faith, or someone whose faith has been terribly shaken but who wants to renew the relationship, trusting in a person is a huge first step. It’s also a daunting responsibility for the trusted person. You are then challenged to be more loving, to learn more, to share more, and to clarify and deepen your own beliefs. You do not want to do or say anything that will lead someone in the wrong direction.

One of the discussion questions for this chapter asks, “Have you ever been that link of trust for another person?” Yes, I have. The responsibility is huge–but it belongs to each of us.

Join the discussion of this chapter at CatholicMom.com!