I strung the Christmas lights in the rain. In the dark. Strung might be a strong word for what amounted to wrapping four strands of lights around our stair railings. When I stepped back to check out my work, my son called the finished product “chaotic.”
But God’s been teaching me about enough this year. Enough, as in “not perfect”.
Enough doesn’t come easily to me. I don’t like enough. I like perfect. I like a clean living room and beautiful cookies. I like packages tied up in string and snowflakes and mittens because these are a few of my favorite things except that my living room has two sick children and various medicines and drinks scattered around it. The cookies aren’t beautiful because kids actually like to make cookies and they don’t turn out like the magazines. And there aren’t any snowflakes and even if there were, I wouldn’t be able to find two matching mittens for anyone.
There’s not that many Christmas songs about that reality–my reality, and I bet yours too.
But sometimes enough has to be, well, enough. I couldn’t find the Christmas candles for the windows this year, so those four strands of lights, when I remember to turn them on, light up about 10 feet of our house.
I didn’t get to the Christmas card this year, either. The thought of all those steps–pictures and labels and stamps and the addresses–I just couldn’t find the energy to do it.
I wanted to do an advent devotional every night this year. We’ve done it three times. We did a dramatic reading of the first 20 verses of Luke. We didn’t get any further.
All of these are experiences can make me feel “not good enough” or I can put my own foot down on my own perspective and say, ENOUGH.
Enough says I will NOT lament my ten feet of chaotic light strands. I’ll just enjoy the light they bring.
Enough says the Christmas card can be next year, because I really just want to make dinner, snuggle with the little one and watch Home Alone for the fifteenth time. I can decide, “this is good enough.”
Enough is always the answer for the things of this world that we try to manage, create and control. We are finite and limited and bump up again our own enoughs but instead of pressing beyond our own limits and pretending that perfection is not only possible but desirable, we can stop. We are, in fact, human. And limited.
But Jesus told Paul, when he faced his weaknesses: “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Perhaps there is a message for all of us in our need to say enough. Perhaps we are reminded that God brought his perfect son to break into this ordinary world, to live a humble life, die a sacrificial death and usher in the most improbable and unbelievable revolution of love that the universe has ever seen. In our ordinary bumps and falls, in our limits and in our fragility, Christmas is like God’s way of saying “I know. But I’ve got a plan. I’ll be more than enough.”
From one imperfect person to another, from one desperate-grace-receiver to another, I wish you a Merry Christmas full of ordinary moments, imperfect memories and the joy and wonder of the freedom that grace gives us to declare enough.