The more confusing poverty is emotional poverty in the midst of affluence. It grates to watch those of the well-to-do who assume postures of indifference, arrogance or aggression, but it is all too common. How do we begin to understand this?
I believe this is because when we do not feel hopeful, when we do not have a sense of purpose (which is altogether different from a sense of self-importance), when we do not feel essentially safe and whole, we fight--passively or aggressively--pretty much all the time. It is so core to our worldly culture that folks who don't STRIVE at all times are considered lazy or foolish at best.
But the thing that fills us with an essential sense of well-being, a sense of purpose and a place in the scheme of things comes when we quit fighting: fighting to maintain control, fighting to have our way, fighting to do it OUR way. We understand this well when we are negotiating with a truculent 2-year-old, too hungry to eat, too tired to sleep and now just plain mad. I truly suspect this is how I appear to God all too often.
So, how do I feed my soul? Prayer is as essentially the food of the soul as vegetables are the food of the body, as also is service (kindness) to others, especially those who can give us nothing but love in return, may not even do that. We fellowship with other seekers of truth, we praise God, we read the Bible and books by thoughtful and experienced fellow travelers, we give of our money, of our time and, most importantly, of our selves. Oh, that is a pretty good way to understand...we try to live like Jesus.
Holy and Amazing God of all Creation, open my heart more today and every day, to unrelenting, unreasoning, unrestrained generosity of spirit that there might be no place in my being to harbor the smallest sense of superiority, arrogance or mean spiritedness. Thank you for making such a hope a reality by the power of your Spirit. AMEN