Sunday, January 17, 2016

Enough.

Well, so far in January I’ve spent less than 48 hours on the ship; this last week was spent in Antananarivo running an anesthesia course plus other meetings about other projects plus some follow up on previous projects.  As I wandered out last night to put some trash in the dumpster on the dock, I glanced up at the stars and was suddenly overwhelmed with awe – here I am, on a boat, in Madagascar, helping patients and medical professionals experience transformation in their lives and practices… all the while I am continually being transformed myself.  It’s not just for the patients.  It’s for every person who walks up the gangway. 

I’ve enjoyed grasping moments to create and finding time to laugh every single day.  It’s changing my perspective and my outlook and my emotional stability as well as my friends are grateful, I am sure.   Here’s #3 on the 2016 focus list (I still dislike the word resolutions)

3. I want to cultivate a mentality of enough in my life.

Enough [ih-nuhf]
Adj: adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire
Adv: in a quantity or degree that answers a purpose or satisfies a need or desire; sufficiently

One of my all-time favorite books is Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and in it he suggests within one of the habits that we live in a scarcity mentality, but we are meant to view the world with an abundance mentality. I’ve tried to live in this mentality since I read that book a few years ago, but recently it was brought up again in Daring Greatly by Brene Brown in a different way.  

What is the first thing I think when my alarm goes off in the morning?  I didn’t get enough sleep. 

When I start to go through my day in my head, the next thought is often I don’t have enough time.

There, before I have even lifted my head or put my feet on the floor I’m already feeling not enough.  I’m already inadequate, with insufficient resources, and I spend the rest of my day trying to claw my way out of scarcity, into enough. 

At the end of the day what fills my head? What I didn’t get done, how much I am already behind on tomorrow’s tasks, how late it is and how little sleep I will now be able to get.   Scarcity is a hole I will constantly fight to dig my way out of but never will succeed.  But what if all it took was a change of position? What if I just never got into the hole in the first place?

And this is just me, personally, in my day-to-day existence. This doesn’t even touch on the scarcity mentality we have in large groups, organizations, working groups, etc. (which is Covey’s focus). That thing that makes you jealous of someone else getting recognition for something that isn’t really that awesome… what I did last week was more awesome than that and no one recognized me…. That comes out of a scarcity mentality.  That there is only so much recognition, or favor, or blessing, or whatever to go around and if someone else gets it that means you won’t. 

Covey says the opposite of scarcity is abundance.  Brown says it is enough.

I think it is both.

Because when we are living in a scarcity mentality, which we all are, enough feels like abundance.

I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly. ~Jesus, John 10:10
He is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. Ephesians 3:20

More than I can ask or imagine, otherwise known as abundance, to me, today, is a good restful sleep and a productive feeling day. Actually, that isn’t abundance.  That is enough.  Abundance is a gift that I don’t know what I would do with right now. And may be a topic for a different blog post someday.

But for today, what does this mean?

When I wake up, I am taking captive the first thought of “I didn’t get enough sleep” and replacing it with something along the lines of “thanks God that I got to wake up today; thanks in advance for the energy to rise to the occasion, with excellence”. 

I’m trying to take captive any thought of scarcity…. Things like I am not smart enough or rested enough or I don’t work hard enough or I don’t have enough friends or I am not friendly enough or I am not outgoing enough or not in good enough shape or not pretty enough or not strong enough or…...  (And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!)

I have enough time today to get everything done that I need to get done for today.  I trust God with what that means. Sometimes it means things further down the priority list don’t get done.  Sometimes it’s more time for work projects and sometimes it is more time for school and sometimes it is more time for friends and sometimes it is more time for sleep.  All is unto the Lord and all is holy.

I am enough, I have enough, and there is enough to go around.

Breathe deeply in that. There is enough. You are enough. 


Peace. And all is well again. 


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