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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Enough

Fairytales inspire me. Frankly, any story with a bit of heroism inspires and motivates me, as I'm willing to bet it does to us all. But I look at the needs around me, I look at my efforts, and the spring of defeat inside me wells up because I know that I could give everything I've got and it still wouldn't be enough.

Do you lack clean water? I could give every ounce of water that I would consume, to my detriment, and there would still be people dying of thirst. Do you lack freedom? I could give mine away, but I would only be saving a few. Do you lack health? I only have so many organs, so much to give, and there will still be people in pain and in need.

You can give it all and it not be enough.

Humanitarianism can be an addiction. It feels good to help people. Once you've started in that kind of work it's hard to quit. I think it's hard to quit, not because it is difficult to ignore the needs of others but, because we can develop a need within ourselves that is nearly impossible to ignore. That need? -Worth.

We want to matter. And you know what? That's okay! I think that's a godly, God-given desire; to want to be more than. But where's our motivation? What's driving us? What's the addiction?

I look at these past years of my life and it was a consuming quest to be worthy. Worthy to be called, worthy to be used, worthy to be in the places I was, worthy to be supported, worthy to be trusted, to be followed, to be an influence...But when I look at the moments and the stories in my possession I find Him there redeeming, building, and transforming. He has made everything that I've done good. He made it enough.

I was sitting next to a drunken woman on the street trying to figure out how to help her. He said it was enough to be present and behold her. I was in the red light districts surrounded by men hungry for sex and women hungry for escape trying to figure out how to make a difference and how to make it stop. He said it was enough to pray. I was in the slums looking at children fearing their abuse, trying to figure out a way to get them out. He said it was enough to hold them and love on them. I was in a cafe with a bunch of people off the street trying to figure out what I should say and He said it was enough to listen.

So long as I'm driven by a need to matter, my giving and my gift in return will be dead and hollow. It will never be enough. Needs will never end and success teetered on needs will never be secure.

How then do we live? I believe the only way to live, in light of this, is to live open and faithfully. We can't be the answer to every need but there is a need that you were made to answer. To posture ourselves in such a way that we are open to receive and faithful to answer, to answer not out of selfish desire but out of selfless and unconditional love for Him and for others, is the position in which we can see success through His eyes.

We don't have to prove anything to Him. We don't have to earn anything with Him. We don't have to perform the role of the hero because He is the hero. He's our hero. And He makes even the smallest of offerings enough.