Sunday, August 21, 2011

Everyone A Tool in the Hand of Providence, and especially in Tough Times

Reflecting on how tough times are and how they might get even tougher has me in a more grateful mood than ever for what is still being provided in the midst of this toughness, as well as what I can provide to help those who need provision. In my pondering, it hit me that everyone of us is a tool in the hand of Providence, equipped to provide for others out of our talent, networks, expertise, etc., and that it is in this provision that we sustain our lives.

From this perspective, I realize that Providence is always at work, not necessarily in ways I expect or desire, but at work nonetheless. I see every opportunity to provide as my being handled by Providence to bless someone, and everything and one I am provided as coming from Providence, especially those things that & people who are challenging and unexpected.

It seems to me that if there is any silver lining in tough and scarce times, it is that it calls us to be less independent and more interdependent, less entitled and more grateful, less impulsive and more mindful, less fickle and more resilient, all things that are good for the soul and relationships and which I imagine cycle back to good times in time, and makes for a greater degree of good times even in tough times.

I think that when we are not sufficiently mindful that we are all tools in Providence’s hand, we worry too much about if we will be provided for, and we are too self-absorbed to provide where we have opportunity to. If we had more confidence in this idea, we could worry less, be less self-absorbed, and by extension put more of our time and energy in figuring out how to better provide for one another.

As times get worse and institutions we have grown accustomed to providing for us, like government and corporations are less able to do so, we are going to have to figure out more and more how to provide for each other. Let’s not allow fear (from inside or outside) of this daunting change to twist us in ways that we do not remain open to Providential Innovation.

It is also worth remembering that the best provision is not money, but time, attention, encouragement, referrals, advice, research/insights, all intangible things which when handled and combined well, converts itself into many barterable currencies that sustain us.

Finally, look to provide for others individually and in groups/networks, as well as in volunteer roles as well as for income.

Here's to being the sharpest and most proficient tools Providence wields!