more or less

We live in a culture that is always telling us that the answer to everything is more.

Get more.
Do more.
Pray more.
Give more.
Make more.
Work out more.
Volunteer more.
Buy more.
Work more.
It is no wonder we are all walking around feeling like we are never enough, trying so hard to be more.
Or maybe that is just me. But I doubt it.

Or we hear the exact opposite. Less is more.
Every January 1st I pledge to Eat less. Spend less. Procrastinate less. Yell less. Drink less.
And I rarely live up to those promises.

I am no good at being more. Or doing less.

But what if the answer, the new goal, was to just try to be enough.

To see ourselves as enough.
Each other as enough.
Our bank accounts and closets and all the things we seem to collect more of. As enough.
Our God as big enough for all the things we lay before him and eventually pick back up because maybe we don’t really trust him. Or maybe we aren’t really sure that he is paying attention. Or sometimes occasionally doubt his goodness or that he will take care of it. So instead, we chose to keep worrying about that for a little bit longer. Because what we are really doubting is that he cares enough to handle it. Because he is busy being God and doing important stuff to deal with little old us. And when I say us, I mean me.

And if we all got content and happy with our enough-ness, would people stop making new year’s resolutions? Would we stop striving and pursuing and setting goals and just relax into the couch watching another episode of Law and Order because we have done enough.

I doubt it.

You see what keeps me on that couch isn’t because of who I think I am. It is usually who I think I am not.

Because enough would mean…
We felt worthy enough to see ourselves as more.
Brave enough to try something new.
Strong enough to keep going even when it gets hard.
And I could go on…

I’m starting to think that I should stop trying so hard to be more. Or less. and instead try to rest in being enough.

Recently I heard someone tell the story of the prodigal son. And it is a story I have heard a million times and there are times in my life where I have related to both brothers.
But this time I learned something new. It was a sermon on envy, and that this particular story is one about enough.About getting rid of this idea of scarcity. That there isn’t enough. That we don’t have enough or do enough, but most of all that God isn’t big enough. (Luke 15: 11-32)

At the end of the story, the fatted calf has been killed. The part is in full swing and the older brother is pissed. He refuses to join in. His father leaves the celebration and finds him. The son gives him a piece of his mind asking why he, the good son, never got so much as a goat.

His dad assures him with this, ´“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
In other words, there is enough.
For you and your brother.

Occasionally we don’t get what we want or things don’t turn out how we’d like and we think that maybe there isn’t enough. That God’s love is limited and we are missing part of it. Because someone else is getting the party. Or the blessing. Or the attention.

But our father’s heart is full. And enough.
The love never runs out.
The forgiveness never ends.
If there is enough for the wild prodigal and the self righteous older brother…
If Christ can make enough out of a few fishes and loaves of bread, or enough wine from a few jars of water and enough grace from a cross...
Then surely there is enough for me.
And maybe. I am enough too.
More. or. less.