How much is enough?

Fall is a time for abundance. The harvest moon hangs low in the clear sky, temperatures plummet, nuts drop from the trees, sweet potatoes and pumpkins emerge steaming from the oven to warm us and fill our bellies. There is much to be grateful for, much good work to do.

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Pineapple guava in my back yard, which produces fruit throughout November and December

And yet, I find that sometimes my mind cannot comprehend the bounty before me. My smile vanishes beneath my furrowed brow, and I tromp through the leaves grumbling about lack…not enough workers, not enough food from the garden, not enough time… The gifts of creation seem meager and miniscule, and I cannot enjoy my supper because it is made up of not enough home-grown ingredients and too many store-bought.

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Simple, edible Canna lilies

When is there going to be enough? I wonder. Suddenly enough is defined as more, no matter how much I have to begin with. More money. More free time. More vegetables. More projects that are not yet finished, or not yet started. New and different friends, because the relationships I have are not…enough. Nothing seems to be enough, and so the endless striving for more ensues, and my search for the simple life has landed me back where I started, stuck in the rat race.

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Our chickens forage in the safety of their chicken tractor

Is there something wrong with my chosen lifestyle? No, the error is in my thinking, which blurs my vision. Creation is abundant. Period. When I am in tune with the harmonic productivity of the planet, I can see that there is always enough to share. Like in the familiar stories from scripture, where the widow gives her last mite as an offering, or the woman offers her last bread to the wayfaring disciple, I cannot know what heaven has in store for me to receive unless I’m willing to offer up the things of this world.

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Garden bed in my yard. Here you can see rosemary, chives, thyme, lettuce, cabbage, onions, lemongrass, a blackberry bush, an apple tree...abundance!

In the stories, the widow is exalted, and the the hungry woman and her son are blessed with the miracle of a flour bin that never empties, a jar of oil that is always full. They do not receive these rewards by hoarding and being stingy. They receive because they are willing to give, because they allow God’s abundance to be made evident in their lives.

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Pecans are underfoot everywhere this time of year!

Abundance is all around us, all the time. Let us set our sights on the giving and receiving of good gifts, and remember to be grateful in all things. When we share and give thanks, there will always be more than enough.

What can you give today? What have you received?