Wednesday, March 01, 2006

enough-ness

How much is enough? It’s one of those questions like, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”. It’s not really answerable. The answer for most is “just a bit more”. Then you could ask “What defines a bit?”. It certainly is a deep question though. In fact the answer to it probably defines the existence of a great many people who I’ve encountered in my life time. I’ve wrestled with it… haven’t defeated it though. In my more pious moments I might try to think that I could say “enough is right now, it’s my existence, I have reached contentment”. That would be a load of crap though, at least it wouldn’t be true five minutes after I thought it. It causes me to wonder though what really drives us? Is it the quest for enough? I don’t mean “enough” in a specific sense, rather “enough” in a broad sense…enough materially, enough financially, enough relationally, even enough spiritually. We’re never really satisfied are we? That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It just depends on where the quest is leading. The defining answer is not what constitutes enough in our lives, but what constitutes enough-ness. I think enough-ness is the state of seeking more, but being content with what is. It’s a more healthy balance. I just recently was reminded of a lady who was known as “the witch of Wall Street”. Her deal was a lack of enough-ness. She was wealthy beyond measure, but living without the benefits of any of it. It was said that her diet consisted of onions, eggs, and dry oatmeal. She didn’t want to spend the money to heat her food. Seems to me like she didn’t have to worry about the “enough” relationally thing. That would have beyond hope. I know of a church in the Midwest who sat on stockpiles of wealth accumulated over the years while refusing to pay anyone to minister to the congregation because of an unwillingness to part with the money. They wanted to save for a rainy day. They refused to see that it was pouring outside. A good perspective on this can come from reading about a man named Job in the Old Testament. Job had it all at one time, and he lost it the next. In one of the most memorable quotes in the Bible, we hear a bit of reality from Job, “the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away…” I think he’d advise us to take advantage of the “giveth” part