Self-defeating Cycles

Is it possible that abundance is a self-created cycle?

The steps in this picture take the marchers perpetually uphill or downhill. Same steps—it’s all about which direction they choose to walk. I have a feeling the same sort of dynamic works for abundance and scarcity.

The path brings me to a POD (Point Of Decision) between abundance and scarcity. The first time I choose scarcity I begin to create a faint new path in that direction. The next time I encounter the POD I’m probably more likely to take the familiar path.

Each time I choose scarcity the path becomes more familiar and well-worn, increasing the likelihood that I’ll choose that path. Eventually it’s nearly impossible to perceive any other option. Even though the “Abundance” sign remains, it appears that there’s really only one possible path.

Can I break this self-defeating cycle? I think so. I think the process is pretty simple, but it’s not easy.

Breaking the cycle means stepping into unfamiliar, uncharted territory. I picture the path in a deep woods—one path obviously leads somewhere, and that’s comforting. Choosing abundance means wandering off where there’s no path. I might get lost, fall off a cliff, or be attacked by wild animals. At least the other path is safe, right?

But I know the familiar path takes me to an undesirable destination, so I have to choose. I can continue on the path to frustration, or take the risk of the untried direction.

Choosing the new path requires faith and courage. But the risk creates a new path. Each approach to the POD is an opportunity to mark the new direction a bit more clearly. And as I avoid the old path it will gradually disappear.

We can start over, change old habits, and make healthier choices. We can choose new directions.

I believe that why Jesus came to Earth. He saw us choosing scarcity. He saw the pain and sadness. He came to show us a better way. He walked the path of abundance and promised that He’d be with us if we’d follow in His steps.

I’d like to tell that teenage “me” to step out, take the risk, and choose abundance. How about you?

Do you hesitate to choose abundance? What’s one small decision you can make, right now, to begin following a new path?