How much is enough?

Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15)

Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:27)

On Thursday, Governor Polis issued a stay at home order, so Jennifer and I walked around the block a few times together. We talked. We felt the warm sun on our faces. We noticed the new green tufts of grass in the neighbor’s yard. We’ll probably need to mow in a week or two. A few yellow daffodils are spreading their wings. The tulips look promising in the front flower beds at church. Will they bloom at Easter? Tim’s aging old hound walked gingerly toward us. We said, “hello” as only old friends can do. I rang the church bell twelve times at twelve noon, once for each of the original disciples and to remind myself and all of us who we follow. Amidst the cloud of unknowing, is this enough?

When the people of Israel fled slavery in Egypt, they wandered in exile, full of fear in the wilderness of doubt and despair. If only we had died in Egypt they moaned. They were hungry and they cried out to God for food and God fed them manna from heaven. It was like “coriander seed, white and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” They could eat as much as they wanted; there was enough. But, as Wayne Muller says, “If anyone took more than they needed and kept it overnight, by morning it would breed worms and become foul. This was to remind them that each day, whatever was given would be enough.”

How much is enough? What is enough? Lately, I go to the grocery store and look at the empty shelves of paper products and the empty freezers of meat. I wonder, how much is enough? Do we ever have enough? Are we ever satisfied?

Muller believes sufficiency is the experience of satisfaction and well-being. “Sufficiency is that moment when we have enough.” What is enough? Just say the word, Enough. Breathe it in and exhale it. Enough. It is settling, peaceful.

When we sit in silence, practice contemplative prayer, meditate, or observe Sabbath “we focus our hearts not on what we need, but rather on what we have,” Muller says. A single breath can fill us with peace and calm the storm within us. A soothing voice. A fond memory. Is it enough? “The touch of a loved one, a particular angle of sunlight can bring delight to our hearts. The simple gesture of someone’s hand resting in our own or the taste of honey.” The list could go on for infinity. The snow on the La Plata’s. The first star at night. The innocent laughter of a child. The harmonious V formation of geese flying. A fresh pizza from the ABC. A short haired cat purring and brushing against our leg. A simple walk around the block. Moments of satisfaction when God’s grace fills us with a sense of enough.

As we stay at home during this pandemic, we can’t help but have moments of fear, pain, anger, and sorrow. May we pray and hold each other in spirit through it all. May we have the assurance that this too shall pass. May we also gather manna from heaven each day. May it fill our hearts and souls with a sense of wonder, beauty, and delight. May it give us hope within the storm. Lord, give us this day our daily bread. May it sustain us, may it be enough. Amen.

May God’s Peace be with you,