March 10, 2012
“That’s enough, that’s enough. You don’t need that much!” That is my husband upstairs talking (loudly) to our daughter who is the bathtub, so I presume he is referring to shampoo or bubble bath or something else that is fun to pour. Do you think God ever tries to shout that to us? “That’s enough, that’s enough. You don’t need that much!” Ketchup, salsa, paint, glue, glitter, salt… there are lots of things that are fun for a four-year-old to pour. Unfortunately lots of those things ruin everything around them when allocated in four-year-old size servings. I think even as adults we have a hard time limiting our portions. Food is an obvious one. It tastes so good that we can ignore our body telling us we are approaching fullness. We can even ignore our body telling us that we have reached fullness and sometimes we can ignore that we have surpassed fullness.
There are so many other things though. All addictions really are about us ignoring God, and the tools that God gives us, telling us that we are approaching or surpassing healthy limits. Alcohol doesn’t have to be bad, but too much certainly is. Working is good, but too much is also bad. Sex, gambling, buying – even earning can be taken to unhealthy extremes when we don’t learn to hear the signals that “that’s enough, you don’t need that much.”
Is God starting to shout in an area of your life because you haven’t listened to the more subtle clues? When we see a child or friend heading into dangerous territory, we call it to their attention. The faster the danger is approaching, the louder we shout. God behaves in much the same manner. We all have a different level of tolerance for suffering, and a different ability to heed the warnings around us. God never wants our lives to fall apart, but sometimes we just don’t listen. If we take seriously the challenge to give something up for Lent, let it be something that we already have enough of. Think back over the last day or week. When was God making you uncomfortable with the amount you had? Where do you have so much enough that more would be detrimental? Let’s listen to God for a change and just use what we need for healthy subsistence and growth instead of being gluttons. We might find a whole new experience of pleasure, one that is based on simplicity and generosity instead of insecurity, selfishness, or greed. Practice “enough”.