What is enough? Ooh off to an introspective start aren’t we? We’ll get there, first I need to mention ice cream. Who doesn’t like ice cream? Plenty of people, especially the ones who are allergic to dairy. Maybe even folks that are afraid of cows don’t like ice cream, there’s enough people in this world that somebody is so afraid of cows they won’t eat ice cream. I don’t know them, but they’re out there somewhere. Regardless of these folks and their concerns about dairy consumption one ice cream parlor in St Paul Minnesota doesn’t really care. Nelson’s Ice Cream is giving you ice cream and dang-it you’re going to eat it and like it. That seems to be the mentality with their portion sizes. The child size is enough ice cream to feed 4 children, if that brings any context. I was there with a friend and we ordered that size knowing it would be plenty for the two of us. As the kind lady behind the counter was scooping that frozen dream my buddy started saying under his breath, “That’s enough” then it progressively got louder, “That’s enough!” Finally he was holding my arm, staring in amazement at a normal speaking tone saying, “That’s enough.” He was in awe.
My buddy had enough. He was content with the amount of ice cream and more showed up. I doubt you are sitting there thinking right now that this is going to be about ice cream so let’s cut the creme and talk about you. Are you enough? Woah, take a step back Elie what is your context? Good question, my context is whatever you immediately thought of when that question was posed. Maybe you thought of yourself in the context of your job. Maybe you thought of yourself in the context of a relationship. I have news for you. The short answer to the question is “no.” At least immediately, because in every worldly sense you aren’t enough. There is always going to be someone better than you at your job. There will always be someone that seems like a better friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, brother, sister, daughter, son you name it.
When I ask myself this question, I think back to my college experience. I was studying theatre and at the time the common phrase was, “You are enough.” Which is almost comical because at the same time the reality of, “No one is coming” was preached. In theatre you have to believe that you are good enough for the part that you seek, elsewhere why would anyone hire you? So if you think you’re good enough and you don’t get the part, why didn’t you get it? Someone is better, that’s why. No one is coming to make your career happen. No one is coming to make you better or help you. There is no saviour for you but you. You alone control the situation. How many of us believe this? I know that this is a lie I have to continually reject.
There are two times that the answer to versions of the question is a “Yes.” If you ask the Lord, “Am I enough for you.” He will respond with “Yes.” Because you are. You are worth dying for. Does that mean you are perfect? Heck no! You need His grace more than air, that’s why in life you are sometimes not enough. It is in those moments when you are relying on yourself and you fail that then the Lord poses the question, “Am I enough for you?” Because when you are relying on yourself you are rejecting His grace and saying, “You aren’t enough for me.” Heavy, right? Good news for you, reconciling with the Lord is real and His healing power is real. The pedestal that you stand on when you think that you can tough it out is fragile and the Lord will break it. From the new angle of the ground you will be able to see His face. That is why He asks you to be humble. It is not because He delights in your suffering, it is because that is the intimacy where the two of you will most closely be together. It is because in that suffering and humiliation of needing Him that you will find peace as He shows you the Way.
Brothers and sisters I am a dirty sinner, and have no lofty words of comfort for you. This is a daily struggle in my life which is why I share it with you here. Everytime I think that I have accomplished something great of my own ability the Lord asks me to look back and I see the real destruction I have caused. I cannot afford to let that waiver my pursuit of Him. That would prove catastrophic for my relationship with Him, that’s what caving to despair does. Instead I must say, “Come Holy Spirit, lead me where I must go.” I have to go to confession, I need that humiliation in my life. You need that humiliation as well.
The world is telling you to be enough and then tempting you to despair at the truth that sometimes you aren’t. Brothers and sisters, the truth is not something to despair about, it is something to rejoice in. Praise the Lord for our weakness so that where we lack may be a means of exulting God most high. Please know of my prayers for each of you who read this.
In Christ, G. Elie Laville