In the Authentic Freedom class this week, we are exploring the topic of gluttony, its core fear: “there is not enough” and the spiritual remedies to this fear.
Yesterday, I wrote about the compulsion of gluttony and how it is related to the immigration issues in Arizona. The cause of the compulsion of gluttony, as I share in the Authentic Freedom class, is the fear that “there is not enough.” This fear has many faces. There is not enough – time, money, food, clothing, shelter, power, control, status, things, etc. In situations where we are lacking sufficient nourishment, safety and shelter, than this is a valid fear. When our basic needs for survival are being met, this fear is a distortion and serves no purpose but to drive unnecessary worry and anxiety.
In the end, the fear that there is not enough blocks our ability to trust in God. In this constant striving to satisfy the fear that there is not enough, we have forgotten Jesus’ words of comfort and his invitation to recognize that it is not the stuff that is the ultimate source of fulfillment.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet our Creator feeds them. Are not you more important than they?
Matthew 6: 25-26
In this reading, Jesus reminds us that the source of life is not in things outside of our selves. He knows that we need food and shelter to survive, but he is reminding us that there is a source through which we can find release from the worries and fears that plague us. This Source, he reminds us, is God. When we stand in the place of fearing that there is not enough, we can turn to God for healing and release from these fears. Even if we are in the “seemingly” desperate position of staring death in the face, our connection with God can give us peace. Even the lack of adequate food, shelter and protection cannot separate us from the peace of God. In the end, we are invited to understand that abundance is an inner experience independent of the external circumstances of our lives.