There’s a little known story from years ago about a man who lived in my hometown by the name of Elmo Barron. Elmo was a gambler – by profession — who had a wife and daughter and as with all gamblers he was sometimes up and other times down, driving a nice new car one day and having the utilities cut off in their home the next. One day, so I’ve been told, Elmo was walking down the street when he noticed a man sitting on his front doorstep crying. Stopping to see what was wrong the weeping man explained to Elmo how his wife had been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and desperately needed an operation, yet he had no money to pay for it. Elmo told the man not to worry and that he would be back later. . . . Now we can only imagine what occurred in the meantime, except that sure enough sometime later Elmo Barron came strolling back by the man’s house handing over to him the money that would save his wife’s life.
What is at the core of Abundant Living? Many have asked me this question since I began writing these messages almost five years ago. To answer it let me begin by stating what it is NOT. It is NOT about prospering – financially or otherwise. Neither is it about anything else one might accumulate such as knowledge, academic degrees, the number of friends we have, the good deeds we do, or the relationships we have with other people. All are great to have and may even be positive byproducts of an abundant life, but none represent what it truly means to live abundantly. Abundant living is NOT about anything we ever gain or attain in life.
Neither is it about living the life of a gambler such as Elmo Barron chose to do. But there is something to be said for his faith, and the faith every gambler has in the next hand to be dealt, so much so that Elmo was able to commit in advance to helping a man in need. But abundant living is NOT about gambling. Instead it is about faith, and recognizing the infinite resources and possibilities that exist within creation, provided not by a poker hand or anything of our own doing but from the One who created it. When we can live our lives in such faith and according to that recognition we will have life and have it in abundance. What is at the core of Abundant Living? That’s it in a nutshell.