Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our Daily Bread Designs Forum Bible Verse Thursday Challenge #44 - Beyond Our Wants

The 23rd Psalm is probably the most recognized passage of the Old Testament.  It is memorized by Christians the world over, sung at Sunday Services and read somberly at funerals.  Why is it that this psalm – written so long ago is still so much a part of our collective consciousness?  Because it is comforting – certainly.  It promises God's providence and presence.   It promises God's protection, even in the face of death and enemies. Yeah, for all these reasons it's a great psalm for a funeral.
And, I'd argue, it's an even better psalm for every day of our lives before our funerals! Because, more than anything else, Psalm 23 promises that God will provide: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

Want. Think, for a moment, about how powerful "wanting" is in our culture right now. Consumer spending now accounts for nearly 70% of our gross domestic product (GDP), which is significantly higher most other industrialized nations (European countries average closer to 50%) as well as what it was during our parents' era (when it was closer to 60%). That's right: more than ever before, our economy is powered by our collective nights out to dinner, trips to the grocery store, and occasional shopping sprees. And to make that all work we are encouraged at every turn to want. To want more stuff, to want nicer stuff, to want lots of stuff.

We live with an imagination dominated by a sense of scarcity, far more aware of what we don't have -- and therefore should go out and buy -- than what we do. No wonder so many people are unhappy. We are consumed by what we lack instead of grateful for our abundance. We are driven to get "more" instead of content to celebrate "enough." And we measure ourselves against our deficits instead of glorying in our gifts and blessings.

At every turn Psalm 23 promises us God's providence and provision of everything we need in this life.  So how is it that we've forgotten this? Part of it, of course, is the consumer-oriented culture in which we live. Bombarded by 24/7 advertising that seeks always to make us aware of what we don't have, it's easy to be seduced into thinking that happiness comes from getting everything you want, instead of recognizing all that you already have.

I encourage you this week to make a list of blessings and wants this week.   Take just five minutes at some point during the coming week and write down in one column of a sheet of paper the ten things for which you are most grateful in your life. In the other column, write down the ten things you most want right now. Once the two columns are complete, consider this question: Which would have a greater impact, losing all the things for which you are grateful or gaining all the things you currently want?

Your challenge this week is to create a project using this scripture or another verse that reminds us that God provides for all our wants and needs.  When uploading your project, please use keyword ODBDBVT43 and then hop over to Our Daily Bread Designs Forum and share it with us!

Supplies for this project
Cardstock:  Truly Yours – White Card Base,  Bazzill – Cream, Black
Decorative Paper:  BoBunny – Country Garden Vines
Stamps:  Our Daily Bread Designs – Lord is my Shepherd
Inks, Stains and Paints:  Versafine – Onyx Black; Ranger Distress Stain – Shabby Shutters; Ranger Distress Ink – Peeled Paint
Dies, Punches & Embossing Folders:  EK Success Punch – Scalloped Edge
Accessories & Other Stuff:  Celebrate It! – White Satin Ribbon (hand dyed)


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