In the days of gathering nuts and berries, humans knew nothing but scarcity. Some people still organize their lives around scarcity and spend their days trying to eke out a life. Most people who read this will be operating out of abundance which is more the norm today. Some think that scarcity is what drives our economic engine. Can there be another way?
In both our physical world and in our digital world we have abundance and that’s the problem for the modern world: how to distribute the abundance. It is a great problem to have and it is a tribute to our continuing search for doing things better.
We have enough food to feed the world but we don’t know how to distribute it justly and wisely. In the story of the people of Israel they did not know what to do with all the manna.
In the digital world it is even more amazing. I can have something and give it away. One more digital file costs nothing. You and I can both have it. Like love, you can give it away and still have it.
Now even wealth is abundant but our economic system needs to find a way to adjust to this new world of abundance because in the physical world there is a limit to abundance although some do not believe this.
Abundance is one of the strong characteristics of creation. Just look at the number of seeds a plant produces or the number of stars and galaxies in the universe. Everything is abundant in nature just as God’s love is.
Perhaps reflecting on scripture can give some insight into our modern problem of abundance. Applying the abundance-scarcity dilemma to various parables may give some insight into how organizing around scarcity makes life less meaningful.
Jesus took bread, broke it and gave it to all in the miracle of the loaves and fishes!