Monday, July 13, 2009

More on Seeking an Abundant Life

It's funny how two people can read the same thing and think two different things. The unfortunate part is that I often forget that this happens.

Case in point, on Friday I put up this quote:
"Are you settling for survival or actively seeking an abundant life?"

I really found this to be quite inspirational and very profound. I mentioned it to a friend and she said that to her it sounded too materialistic. As soon as she said that, I saw her point. When I first heard it, however, that never even occurred to me. I can see how you could turn that quote into an excuse to go after all the material riches of this world so that you could live an abundant (material) life.

She asked me what I thought the quote meant by an abundant life, so I told her "JOY". What struck me was that a person could either go through each day just trudging along without having or seeking any joy in their lives or they could grab the proverbial bull by the horns and do something to bring joy into their lives.

It could mean changing their prayer life, it could mean seeking out a holy priest or new friends or really anything that would deepen their relationship with the Lord and thus, hopefully, bring more joy into their life. The key here being that material things can't bring that true joy that only the Lord can.

I guess I kind of look at it as the difference between a person who continues to wait, day in and day out, for the Lord to bring joy into their lives or a person who goes out to find the Lord and asks for that joy.

The first person might be waiting a long time and has the potential to fall into a very negative state of mind. The second person, I believe, will be rewarded for their seeking with the gift of grace and, at some point, will find the joy that their heart truly desires. To me, that is an abundant life.

So, that was my take on that quote and you heard my friend's take. Out of curiosity, what was yours?

PS Dear friend, lest you read this and get upset with me, I was not implying anything negative by your statements. You just made me see another side to this quote, so I thought I'd clarify my thoughts on it :)


  1. HI Laura! When I read your quote I didn't think it was related to materialism. I thought it meant "are we looking for a 'fuller' life" and, for me, the fuller life is with Jesus Christ. As I'm typing this, I realize that life with Jesus Christ doesn't always bring joy, which is why I'm always trying (not always successful) to cultivate a grateful heart for whatever the Lord sends me. God bless! Dolores

  2. I agree with you Laura. That was the first impression I got. I have many days where I do kind of *get through* the day. I pray for the Lord to increase my joy in Him and to also help with the depression that gets in the way.

    Your background look great...very summery.

  3. I agree with you, Dolores, about the importance of gratitude in whatever trial or jubilation we are sent!

    Theresa, thanks!

  4. No I am not upset with point was that I have heard so much of the false health-and-wealth-gospel from well meaning Christians, I always have to check,"just what do you mean by that?" I appreciate your immediate thought that the abundant life is joy - something I pray for constantly as I have battled depression on and off since high school. And immediately after reading your blog I went to check out Mark Mallett and todays title is "Finding Joy". I often think of Our Lady's words to ST. Bernadette, " I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the next". If God chooses that depression be my cross then so be it. But running in the mornings seems to be helping , so perhaps God is gracing me with the gift of joy after all....I just have to work for it and be patient.

  5. Deacon Bill reminded us that we always need to continually call on the Holy Spirit during trials or suffering.

  6. Hi Laura D! Laura D here, finally getting back to blogging AND commenting! I really appreciated this quote and the discussion. I would have to agree, also, that abundant would be tranlated spiritually -- full of God. Also, perhaps abundant might mean joyful, despite the circumstances. I've been thinking a lot about what Paul says in Phillipians: "I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need."