“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” – Philippians 4:12
Enough is a full word. It brings joy and peace, yet for those that don’t have it, it brings anxiety and fear. Sometimes people truly don’t have enough, but most often times, people don’t realize they have enough. I’m guilty of it myself.
Enough is defined as “adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire.” Personally, that unpacks quite a load. Enough can be described as adequate for want OR need. It’s sufficient for purpose, but also to satisfy desire. I see a huge difference there. Being in need and being in want are almost polar opposities. Most often what I want is rarely what I need. Some days I want more clients, some days I want a better body, some days I want more time, some days I want a bigger house, some days I want nothing more, either way, some days I want.
I may want, but I rarely need. I’m pretty sure there’s only been a few times where I’ve really felt in need, and it usually has to do with being sick. When I traveled to Ethiopia, I saw a great need, but I didn’t see much “want.” And truthfully, I didn’t see much need past physical needs, as the people I met there were unbelievably joyful, hopeful, happy, giving and caring. They lived in a way I hope to live. They loved and lived in community and were joyful in what they had.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just sit around wanting all the time, but I think it’s just part of our human nature to want bigger and better. Honestly, I don’t think our society helps that. We go through school being beautifully empowered, but I think that empowerment is so often misguided. “You can be anything you want to be” is so often turned into a ladder-climbing job with security, 2 weeks vacation, and 50-60 hours a week of work. Truthfully, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with a typical 9-5 job, because my husband has a 9-5 with an amazing company and LOVES it. I really don’t think having a typical job or an atypical job is what matters, I think the motive matters. Or, the lack thereof. I just wonder how many people out there that have surrendered dreams for the comfort of a high salary. This definitely isn’t a “one size fits all” observation, but I just see so many people fighting to climb the ladder just to have the bigger house, the nicer score, the elite school for their children and the $500 handbag. (I include myself in this, as I do strive, want and obsess at times)
If you’re still with me, I truly appreciate it because I know it seems like I’m rambling. But, bear with me. I guess what I’m trying to say is, our society never glorifies “enough.” We glorify “more.” More money, more house, more cars, more, more, more. I think it’s beautiful to strive to bigger “things” in your life, I just don’t think the “things” that are worth striving for are material “things.”
A sermon I heard once talked about how our generation wants to have it all, and it’s so true. We want the best body, the most beautiful house, the trendiest clothes, the most organic foods, the fastest laptop, the top-notch education, the successful career, and the list goes on. I don’t think that those things individually are innately bad, but when did having it all become the new normal and the new mindset? When is enough, enough?
Jeremy and I live in a cute little duplex in a fun part of town. Many of our friends are buying and building new houses and we get caught up in the house-buying dream at times, but our duplex is enough. I can’t imagine keeping anything bigger clean! We have small cars and we live on a budget. We aren’t big spenders even if we want to splurge. We try to live in our means. By no means are we doing it all right or have it all together. And boy, do we “want” sometimes.
When I truly sit down and think about my life, I have nothing to complain about, yet I still do. It’s rather sad that I get caught up in the frenzy so much, but my new goal is to remember that enough is enough. It’s all we need. The Lord has blessed us with a beautifully simple life full of love and laughter rather than things or big-number salaries. I just pray we can see the beauty in that in every season of our lives. Beyond me and my life, I believe that so many of us have enough. I believe we are just missing the beauty and treasure of enough. It’s hard to see, but it’s even harder to miss.
Enough is beautiful. Enough is freedom. Enough is sufficient. Enough is Enough.
What are your thoughts on enough & when is enough, enough?