Do I have enough?
Does my spirit acknowledge enough?
How do I handle enough?
These questions all stem from a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago. We were enjoying a meal together when he said something that stopped me in my tracks. We were talking about how more wealth doesn’t seem to really connect with more happiness. And what he said was, “I have to remember that of all the things I will ever have in my life, I already have the most important thing.”
My mind went to Matthew 13: 44-46. It’s a short story, but it highlights this idea of enough.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
Do we have the pearl? And do we feel like it is enough, or do we turn up the radio and resonate with Bono as he sings “but I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
I believe we are called to more and more of God. I believe, we never arrive, never are finished, never have all of God. And also, I believe that this mindset of never settling into the riches, the abundance, the peace, the identity God has for us, plagues us with a spirit of discontent. We accept, “Not enough” as our perspective of the world. We accept, “it’ll never be” as our future, instead of recognizing that the pearl of great worth is in our hands. That the hope for a better earth is promised and is sure!
And the point that my friend was making to himself was that it is too easy to consume the riches we have and only hunger for more. If we move from a place of not enough, failing to recognize the riches the kingdom of heaven offers us, we will indeed never find what we are looking for.
To me, enough means that in the kingdom of heaven, instead of striving from a place of deficit, we adventure from a place of abundance.
We receive great gifts from God, like purpose, value, love, patience, wisdom, and so much more. And yet our hearts seem so rarely satisfied. We accept the idea that we don’t have enough.
When we’re at work, we strive for wealth instead of receiving God’s gift of purposeful vocation.
When we learn, we strive to know and name good and evil, instead of hungering for God’s wisdom.
When we face difficulty or are excluded we desire power instead of receiving humility or patience.
When we look at the things we have, we desire more than those around us instead of the plenty we have.
In our relationships we fight for control over others instead of allowing ourselves to be known. We covet pleasure instead of love, comfort instead of grace, respect instead of the salvation we have in Christ. We have the pearl in our hands, but we gamble with it: we hope that we can leverage what we have into something more.
We get stuck in a trap that prevents us from entering into the economy of abundant grace that God longs for us to enjoy. Other people become threats instead of brothers and sisters. Time becomes our enemy instead of an opportunity. This is the fruit of discontent.
Now, when I speak about striving from a lack, it may sound like I’m advocating for us to simply sit back and wait for heaven to come to us. Let me clarify. Jesus isn’t saying that we should get the pearl and just look at it. This is where the analogy shifts: the kingdom of heaven isn’t something we possess for ourselves. The kingdom of heaven is something that multiplies when we enjoy it with open hands.
I also think of Matthew chapter 25- the parable of the talents. The master gives talents to his servants. The one who moves from fear is unable to mobilize what he has. The two who move from abundance are free to invest what they have and reap a great benefit for their master. The kingdom of heaven is a gift we receive that is worth all we have. But it's a gift that’s value only grows when it is shared.
The shift I believe God calls us to is accurately recognizing where we will find enough. To recognize the place where we’ll find what our restless souls are looking for.
Today, consider taking a few moments to consider how you've been striving out of a deficit. In what ways is God calling you to move out of abundance instead? Do you have enough income, house, car, entertainment, pleasure, or healthy relationships?
Listen to what God is speaking: where do you feel like you’re operating from “not enough” and ask where God is calling you to adventure with him from a place of fullness?