I'm simmering right now. No, I'm not steaming hot and angry. What I mean is- I feel like I've been working on something, in my subconscious, and its starting to form, starting to come up into my consciousness as an idea, a sentence, a direction. Lord knows I need direction right now. I've been praying for direction, for guidance. And Monday, during the day, a word came to me. Just a word. But I let it simmer in me for a while, like the chicken soup I made last week. (First time I had made homemade chicken soup in years. And I suddenly remembered that the longer you simmer it, the deeper the flavor, the richer the taste).
Here's the word I've been thinking about- Enough. That's all I got on Monday. And then I met with Mu, my dear friend who always cuts to the main point without any need to placate me or prepare me for truth. She knows that as agonizing and unpleasant as Truth is, I still always crave it. It's the only way I know I'm dealing with Reality- if I feel like I've heard the truth. Mu always shares fragments of truth with me, like little odd snapshots she takes of me and I go home and look at these pictures and see something about myself that I've never seen before.
By Tuesday morning I started to think about a passage in Proverbs 30 that is not very well known or loved. It talks about the leech and how it has two "daughters" that always cry out for more- Give me more. And then it says "There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, 'Enough!'". And then it lists these four things that are never satisfied: the grave, the barren woman, dry land, and fire. And I could almost swear I heard my name being added to that list, as if God had an afterthought upon looking down at me. "And add Lauren to that list. She is never satisfied. She never says, 'Enough!'. She forgets to say, 'Oh Thank You Lord! That's enough for me, more than enough' ".
Talk about getting Truth spoken to you. And no one was in the room. No One but me and the whisper of the Holy Spirit which can sometimes feel not so light and whispery but more like a heavy belt of truth that He puts around and it pulls you down to the ground of Reality. Cause sometimes you have to go down before you can go up.
This passage, the commentators say, is talking about covetousness and greed. But I saw something here in this passage that I never saw before. I saw that greedy, complaining, selfish people don't start out looking that way. They start out just not being satisfied, ever, with whats given to them. They would be the one at your tea party who would forget to say "enough" (with a pleasant tone of voice) when you're pouring their tea. And then because they didn't say they had enough you kept pouring and then the tea went everywhere and made a mess. And the mess would be your fault, not theirs- or that's how they would see it.
When is it ever enough? I'm asking myself that. See, my son just got through his second bad cold since he left for college. And he didn't lapse into a major asthma attack or have to go to the hospital because it turned to pneumonia. This is wonderful news. This is a miracle. Is it enough for me to be happy about this? Or will I quickly wave that aside and say, "Now, about the next problem; about the checkbook, Lord, and the bills we have to pay, and the jobs Bill needs....About that, Lord" and act like its not enough that He spared my son from major sickness.
What about the bills we have to pay? Yes, they're looming before us. But at least I spread out the bills on the kitchen table which is in my nice little kitchen which is in the house we own (okay, the bank owns it with us), and the house is solid and dry and situated on a wooded lot in a safe town with lots of state troopers and security cars that patrol the area, keeping little old me safe and ...satisfied? Is it enough? It is enough for me?
I suddenly realize that the challenges before me do not have to do with bill paying, employment, self-employment, financial security, whether or not to pursue writing or go get a full time job in sales...These are not my real challenges, my problems. My problem is that behind all these challenges and obstacles and questions, I have a heart that quickly forgets what God did for me yesterday, last week, last year. I forget all these breakthroughs and miracles and grace moments because in the very moment I am in, I look around and forget to say, "This is enough for me, Lord. It's more than enough."
Cause if I did look around and saw all that I have, I would realize my cup overflows, that He is my Shepherd, that surely goodness and mercy follow me around like a hound dog on a trail and there's no way I will ever get goodness and mercy to stop following me all the days of my life. He has said it is so. And that's enough for me.