I forgot my offering was enough.
Before the world was full of iPhones and email and lightening charge, there was a woman who placed two coins in an offering plate. They were barely worth anything, even in a world where a day’s wages were far less than drive-through dinner for a family. A ridiculous offering, really, because it was so small and insignificant that it couldn’t provide anything for anyone. People tittered and mocked her meager offering.
There was once a boy who carried a lunch of two fish and five loaves of bread. There were thousands of hungry people and not enough food. It didn’t make sense for him to offer his lunch, but he did. It was a silly and insignificant offering. People dismissed it as meaningless.
There is a story of a man who needed help harvesting his field. He gathered workers in the early morning, promising them a generous wage for a day’s work. He gathered more workers later that morning, again around noon, again in the afternoon, and again just before quitting time. The sun set and the man paid every worker the full day’s wage, no matter how long they worked. The first workers hired grumbled and begrudged his generosity.
Many times offerings and blessings do not make earthly sense. It is easy to believe the harder we work, the more rewarded we will be. It seems that a significant offering is one that is notable and flashy. It would make sense that efficiency and effectiveness is most pleasing.
Somewhere along the way, I forgot my offering was enough. Rather than noticing small pleasures, I counted all the things not done. Instead of lingering with naming the color of the sky, I began dwelling on all that I haven’t accomplished. Sitting still stopped bringing sweet solitude and started conjuring failure. I tried going for walks and going to bed and going out of my mind trying to savor the glory of an ordinary day. Instead of claiming peace, I clenched it in a tight fist with gritted teeth.
It wasn’t peaceful.
It turns out when you forget your offering is enough, then nothing else is enough either. You find yourself in the dark and dangerous waters of the Sea of Not-Enough. When you are working to keep your nose above clamoring waves, you don’t have much energy left for anything else.
I decide to heft an SOS into the sea. What if it begins with a picture? I scroll my camera roll sure that I will find evidence that I’ve been idle and sluggish and lazy. Instead, I find a fight for celebration and a summer filled with incredible adventures with teenage boys and friends and a big Montana sky.
I don’t know what to write, but I begin tagging pictures led by my OLW 2021, peace, and trust I will discover something needed. I drop the pictures into Photoshop and start creating something out of nothing.
I didn’t know I had decided that my offering wasn’t enough. I think about the woman who dropped the coins in the offering plate. She knew she gave her all. The boy gave his whole lunch. There’s wasn’t more he could give; it was enough. The workers labored for the time they were given. They didn’t feel badly for not giving more.
As is often the case, I return here, to the space I’ve carved to make my personal thoughts public and now I toss this SOS into the sea. I want to be a woman of wisdom and whimsy. It hinges on believing my offering is enough.
Peace fills my lungs as I breathe in new resolve to believe it is true: my offering is enough.
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