You are enough to fulfill your purpose,
You’re enough to receive His love;
You’re enough to be thoroughly adored
By your father God above.
You have enough to live this life
With grace and hope and joy;
You have enough to satisfy all your needs
And have surplus to spend on toys.
You are enough to lift your head up
And meet people eye to eye.
You are enough to achieve what’s important in this life
Before the day you die.
You have enough in His daily blessings
That you so often neglect to see.
You have enough to truly thrive, my friend,
For His grace is sufficient for thee.
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’
2 Corinthians 12:9
You know when you’re somewhere or doing something, and you notice that you’ve been entirely present and entirely content – if only for a few moments? That was me this afternoon, just for awhile, sitting outside in the back yard with a cuppa and looking up at the big blue sky.
Imagine if we lived like that all the time. If only we lived like that all the time. I’m pretty sure that’s the way life was intended. I’ve just never met anyone who got it right all the time, or even most of the time – though some I reckon come close, and often their life’s pretty simple.
One of the strongest and most persistent lies, I think, is that we need more. It’s so powerful because you can be consciously and actively countering that claim in your thought life day by day, but it only takes a few moments of letting your guard down to find yourself back in that place of feeling lack.
Some would claim our society has been deliberately engineered to cultivate that feeling of lack, either a lack we perceive in ourselves, our circumstances, finances, relationships or any other area. Whether that claim is true or not, I think many people can relate to a sense of lack at times that often gets in the way of real contentment and happiness.
For Christmas this year a relative gifted our family with a voucher to take our kids to see a movie at Village Gold Class. The boys had never experienced the big recliners and “special” experience of Gold Class before. We were all very excited.
As we sat in the entry lounge and considered the menu for snacks and nibbles my wife and I decided we’d purchase an individual soft drink and popcorn for each of us, which fit into our budget. However my oldest son became disagreeable because he wanted a milkshake instead of a soft drink, which cost quite a deal more. I was upset and disappointed. I felt he wasn’t appreciating the gift of the Gold Class experience or the soft drink and popcorn that we were offering him, or even our family time together. How could he not see that the whole outing was already so special, and didn’t require a milkshake to make it so? My wife and I stood our ground, eventually he relented and we all enjoyed the movie. Happy ending.
This afternoon I was relaxing outside thinking about that, journaling a little (which I haven’t done for awhile), praying now and then. It suddenly occurred to me how often I play the role of my son from the above scenario. I began to think of all the daily blessings I fail to appreciate and notice in my life whenever I’m pining for something I feel I lack. It was a bit of a humbling moment. I remembered how upset I was with my son at the time, but too often I’m the unappreciative one.
I’m sure God holds our children up to us as mirrors, at times.
Maybe it was the outdoors, the pleasant weather or just my mood, but this afternoon I was feeling pretty blessed. I looked around our small back garden and felt appreciation for the blue sky, the breeze, the plants, the big tree, the time to sit alone outside and really relax.
I studied a tiny green shoot of a weed I noticed (one of many) poking up between the brickwork on the ground as I sipped my cuppa. It certainly didn’t have my blessing to be there, but in that moment I was even able to appreciate it too. It was green and thriving, despite having just an itty bit of soil between those bricks. Unwanted, with so little in the way of resources for life, it was growing anyway.
And that brings me back to the lie.
The truth is, we don’t actually need all that much to live and even thrive – to feel joy, hope, contentment and a sense of purpose.
When I thought about it this afternoon, what I think I really want in my life (beyond the survival necessities) is joy, hope, contentment and purpose – and none of those things is affected by my external circumstances as much as my internal outlook.
I just need to remember to hold onto that truth, amidst the barrage of lies I encounter every day.
I still have a lot of work to do in my thought life.
One of my traps is falling into an “I need…” thought cycle. It usually rears its head when I’m tired or haven’t been looking after myself too well, and the longer I go round in circles thinking about all I lack, the worse I feel. It’s not a fun place to be, but once you’re there it’s like being stuck on a major freeway with no off ramps nearby. The trick is to realise early that you’re headed in that direction and make a quick turnoff before the on ramp.
So I’m determined to override every “I need..” thought with an “I have…” statement. I’m going to replace lack with plenty. I’m going to ignore the lies and hold tight to the truth.
I am blessed.