Our Helping Hands Ministry distributes canned goods and other non-perishable items every Wednesday at our church. Recently after one of the giveaways, when the crowd died down, my daughter began to take inventory of the items we had on hand… baked beans, corn, tomato sauce, pasta, spam, sardines, hash, tuna, and the list goes on and on and on.
Anyway, I saw her list and realizing how extensive it was, I said to her, “I think it is much better to know what we need, then to see what we have,” arguing my point really good (not only as her mom, but as her first lady) or so I thought. That is until someone else jumped in the conversation and said, “No… not to take Brandi’s side, but I believe it’s easier to have a record of what you have. That way you can have an inventory and then you could look at your list and see what you need.” And he continued with, “So you could say, I have this many cans of this. We want to have this many of them, or we have this many boxes of these, we need to have this many…” and blah, blah, blah... J
“Yeah, yeah, yeah” I said. Sounded like too much work to me. And then I went on, “I’d rather look at what is on the shelves, and write down what we have need of.” And felt inclined to go continue, but instead followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Who told me (as He often does), “leave your daughter alone” and I walked away.
Okay, so what’s the point? We can surely go back and forth with this, and just like the other member said, “It’s just a matter of perspective.”
Right, it’s all a matter of perspective. And as I walked away from that conversation and even until the next morning, God spoke. And what He said was this, “Taking inventory of what you have is a way of expressing thanks.” You have a written record of what you have when you look at what you have and write it down. What you are actually doing in writing it down, is giving witness to it. Giving witness to what you have. And though you don’t realize it you are making a mental note of how you have provision. Namely, how GOD has provided for you.
Whereas, taking note of what you don’t have, clearly defines your focus and causes you to overlook what you do have.
Yes, it is a matter of perspective. While one way may not necessarily be the best way over the other as you actually go to replenish your inventory for a church give-away; one way is definitely the best way to look at the inventory in your life. First natural, then spiritual. Focusing on not what you don’t have, but what you DO have, and that is certainly the right perspective and more than enough reason to give thanks.
Yep, it is a matter of perspective. And I’m grateful for what I have. What say you?
A servant of the Lord,