Ever find yourself saying, or hearing, any of these phrases? “There just isn’t enough time in the day; I need a few more hours.” Or, “I’m just a little short. I just need a little more (fill in the blank here).” Or, “things just aren’t the way they used to be.” Or, perhaps, especially from young ones in our families, “we don’t have anything in the house to eat, Mom!”
Though the last statement may evoke humorous laughter, each of these statements point to one thing: scarcity. There’s not enough time. There’s not enough to complete a task. There’s not enough resources or ambition to continue a previous activity or practice. There’s not enough food. There’s not enough (fill in the blank).
On a daily basis, these phrases permeate the way we communicate and color the way we view our world and our lives. After dwelling in a mentality of scarcity long enough, pretty soon, it can become all too easy to see even ourselves as not doing enough, not performing highly enough, or simply not being enough.
Instead of being sucked into a vacuum of scarcity, what if we dared to believe that within the whole of humanity – and the whole of ourselves – that there actually was enough? That we have been given enough to live fully and to live fully connected to one another?
Looking at our already filled calendars, it might be challenging to rewire our brain to see that time is a gift. Looking at the very dire need of people near and far who go without basic necessities, it might be hard to comprehend that within the whole of the world, there is enough to provide for all people. In releasing our control over what we think we have – whether time, our money, food, or other resources – we have the potential to shift from a mentality of scarcity to a mentality of enough-ness. Not necessarily a mentality of abundance, but a mentality of enough-ness in which we, and our neighbors, are given what is needed, in due season.
Recently at Shepherd of the Cross, where I serve as pastor, we read from Psalm 145, promising that the Lord is faithful in all God’s words, gracious in all God’s deeds, and gives food in due season, satisfying the desire of every living thing. Throughout my life, I can’t say that I’ve always trusted these promises 110%. There have been seasons in which it’s seemed as though God hasn’t provided what I thought I needed. Yet, in releasing my control over what I thought was mine, and in releasing my control over what I thought I needed in each moment, indeed, I was given enough. At least, enough for that season.
So, in the coming days, what would it be like to challenge yourself to escape from a mentality of scarcity and engage in a communal mentality of enough-ness? Doing so might push us to rely on our neighbor, and share with our neighbor. And doing so may challenge us to release control over what we think is ours. Together, as we open our hands to each other, we just might find that the world has enough, indeed, exactly what is needed.