This week I was chatting with a friend about simpler times. We talked about our childhoods when we would say “good bye” to mom and run off to play with friends, riding our bikes off to all sorts of imaginary places. My family had: one car, a black and white television, a dial phone (on a party line). I shared a room with 3 brothers and my mom grew a huge vegetable garden that covered half our lot. This was ‘middle class’ existence then and my parents strove mightily to provide it for us.
It takes much more to be ‘middle class’ these days. Why is that? Do we need more than back ‘in the day’? Is that level of stuff not enough anymore?
We often hear about monetary inflation (meaning the value of our money has changed) but I think we have experienced an inflation of expectations. Even Christians have been caught up in these inflated expectations. The Biblical picture of prosperity is illustrated in Isaiah 64: 21 – 22 “They will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them or plant and others eat.” This is a picture of a simple life of ‘enough’.
I feel like I am not satisfied with what God deems is enough but instead set my heart on more! Since when is enough not enough?
In his book “The End of Greed: Consuming as if God, people and the planet matter” Scott Higgins tells the story of an encounter he witnessed in an airport. A father and daughter wished each other “Enough” as they said their goodbyes. After the daughter left the father explained to Higgins what they meant.
“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough ‘Hellos’ to get you through the final ‘Goodbye’”
I pray for my “daily bread” by rote but am I satisfied with God’s enough, for today?
I struggle with all this as I live at an elevated level to many of my friends and as I ask others to consider sharing with our nascent “Street Hope Saint John” ministry. I suspect God is calling me to a different level of satisfaction with His ‘enough.’
Please remember Linda and me as we are on this journey together. We are grateful that we have a faithful God who is always enough for us and our needs.
I wish you “Enough”