I spent the morning on Hau’ula Beach. Running (a term I always use very loosely) as far as I could go, from one rock outcropping to the other, I thought of all the people in the world who have never witnessed such an idyllic scene. The waves crashing, the air moist, a slight breeze blowing, my feet sinking into the wet sand at every step. This is so wrong. Why should I be so lucky?
A few years ago, Sam offered to take his employees out to lunch. They accepted, but one quickly offered, “Um…why don’t we take my car.” Sam’s two-tone red (due to a poor repaint job when some damage was repaired) Eagle Summit had, literally, rusted through the floor. Some of the upholstery was worn through to the cushioning. It ran very rough and loud. It was an embarrassment even to the most junior of his employees.
Finally, we broke down and went car shopping. As usual, we checked the latest issue of Consumer Reports, found the deals of the century, and headed out to test drive. We looked at all the models and options; drove a number of cars. Then, on a whim, as we drove home from Fort Lauderdale, we stopped by a Lexus dealer “for fun.”
For months Sam had been taking a longish commute down to Dania. It had been a stressful transition since his department had moved to another county. And now, here was a car that ran smooth as silk, quiet and tranquil, without all the jolts and jars. And really, the low-end Lexus was only a teeny, tiny upgrade from the high-end Camry.
When Sam went to High Council meeting the next Sunday, he parked near the back of the building and walked around. We made sure we took the old Caravan whenever anyone would see us.
Arriving at a friend’s house one day, she opened with, “Oh, I see Sam got a new car!” I grimaced, apparently, because her husband who happened to be my stake president saw the need to teach me a lesson.
“Alison, you husband works hard, he earns his living honestly, he deserves a decent car. Now, enjoy it.”
But what about all the starving kids in Ethiopia? What about the people in Homestead who lost their houses in Hurricane Andrew? And the people in Pompano who can’t afford electricity? How can I buy a nice car? A nice home? A TV (or two!)? Or ice cream?
How can I go to Hawaii and actually enjoy it?
As I ran and thought of all the reasons that I shouldn’t be there when there were so many more important ways to use my money and my time, a thought struck me and spread over me:
Why would God make this amazing, paradisiacal place, if he didn’t intend for us to enjoy it?
I am starting to rethink my life and the way I see things. Abundance for one, doesn’t require scarcity for another. There truly is enough and to spare. Perhaps we are all intended to have lives of abundance after all.