The Enoughness of Enough

Mar 29, 2013Find joy today


I noticed the little voice at the thrift store as I gathered clothes to try on. I had a panicked sense about me, worried if I didn’t crawl through everything there, I would miss something. I tried on my clothes, bought several items, and went home feeling guilty. (Have you ever had purchase regret?)

I received disheartening news from a publisher. Their words confirmed the demise of one of my books. I thought of my more successfully published friends, and felt the hole deep down. I’ve wrongly thought that finding a certain level of success in writing would be enough. I’d reach a milestone and rest a bit, happy at the accomplishment. But another mountain of achievement always looms, stealing the joy of rejoicing in the accomplishment. Click to tweet this.

I’ve wanted wood floors as long as I can remember, but none of our homes have been decked with oak. It’s absolutely silly, this desire, especially in light of my friends in Ghana and Haiti whose floors are earth. I know we have so much. Why pine after pine?

My enough is broken.

The enoughness of enough hasn’t yet satisfied me. New (to me) clothes won’t fill up a heart. Instead, they’ll steal from our bank account. No matter what I achieve as a writer, there will always be another literary carrot just a little further ahead, stealing my temporary joy. Once the wood floors grace my home, there will be other home improvement items luring me–a new cooktop, different counters, an arbor out back.

I feel like Jeremiah aimed a verse at me this week: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me,  the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” *Jeremiah 2:13)

I’ve forgotten that Jesus is my enough. Instead, like the Achiever that I am, I have dug cisterns til the cows came home, only to realize they hold nothing. The water rushes through, temporarily satisfying, but never really filling me up.

I’ve become like Solomon. “And all that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:10-11

The solution? I have to stop. Rest. Revel in the now. Be like the Apostle Paul and learn the secret of true contentment, of being okay with lack or gain, all my strength coming from Jesus.

It’s not easy, though.

We live in a culture where there’s no enoughness to enough. Materialism and consumerism demand that we feed our desires constantly, never satisfied with the now. And it spills over into our businesses and ministries. If we revel in the enoughness of enough, then we’re not forward thinking, or we’ve lost our edge. We must always, always be shipping.

When will it end? Should we live on a treadmill, never stopping, never celebrating, never breathing a holy exhale long enough to simply say, “Thank You Jesus?” I hope not.

I’m, of course, preaching to myself in this post. But I have a hunch you’ve been there before, too. Will there ever be an “enough” in your life? What is enough?

Let’s decide together that there is enoughness to enough. To stop right now and be counterculturally CONTENT. Who’s with me?

Q4U: When have you truly felt you had enough? What messes with your feeling of enoughness?