Gretchen, in her wonderful Happiness Project, in the section "Spend Out," talks of how she learns to "trust in abundance," not to be stingy with things, with time, with love, with giving herself. (See a related post on her blog.) She gives examples, such as saving nice stationery to the point of never using it, and then finally using it to send photos of her kids to their grandparents. "What better occasion," she writes. "Spend out," she says " is not to be a scorekeeper, not to stint on love and generosity." It is also trusting "in abundance," that when we meaningfully spend or use something or give our time or money, more will be given to us. Rena gives a similar description of abundance in her latest newsletter: "Nature is abundant. There are endless stars in the sky and endless grains of sand on a beach. The universe around us is naturally abundant and so are the possibilities for manifesting what we want. According to nature's principles, it is more natural to receive what we want, then it is not to. We need to stop our thoughts from repelling what the natural flow of the universe is trying to bring to us." Maybe it's also like Matthew 14:29, the one who uses the talents gets back more, but the one hoards loses even that which he has. Also, "my cup runneth over," says the psalmist.
Which reminds me of two stories, one from a friend and one from an acquaintance. I sat with a friend in his garden yesterday and he told me how he and his wife went to Vegas and went to the casino just before they were getting on the plane, having checked out of their hotel. My friend likes to play Keno, and went to a machine that he had frequented. He won $10,000. The management was going to give him cash, which he didn't want since they were about to get on the plane. They told him that they would give him one check, and not pay him if he won anymore, so he took it and they went to the airport. His wife was full of ideas about how they should spend the money, but my friend said he had always wanted to take the family to Disney World, which in fact they did. I admired that he didn't hoard it, save it for a day that might never come, but just pursued his wish, whatever it was.
The other story a man told, saying he's always liked cars. A friend was driving him to his volunteer job at a museum, because he couldn't drive himself, having recently had open heart surgery. The drive had a Porsche, and my acquaintance was envious. "You should get one," his friend told him. My acquaintance said how he couldn't afford one, and was told that he could find one used. So he looked online and found one within his price range, wearying himself with considerations on whether he should spend the money this way, or how it would look to other people. But he said he finally decided that his friend's words to him might be God's way of telling him to be kind to himself, and so he bought the car and he's very happy with it.
I tell these things not because I have examples of my own, being fearful and stingy and like the servant who would hide the money (I did hide the money and not invest it, and then I had to lose it, paying some bills.) And yet, opportunities have come my way again and again, and I may not always get what I want, but I get what I need.