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franklin county times

Living well is more than just having enough

In the middle of car lines and Walmart trips, family obligations and the never-ending laundry, it’s easy to lose sight of the life God has for us and get caught up in just trying to survive the day. When we slow down long enough to consider our desire to live well, our minds fill with images of well-ordered homes, well-mannered children and well-planned calendars.

Far too often our definition of living well is rooted in having enough resources to do the things we enjoy and to provide for the people we love.

Books and blogs about the quest for living well crowd our Google searches and bookstore shelves. We devour the latest list of tips for making time and pin countless methods for meal planning. We spend our time and energy on a relentless quest for achieving balance and fill our days chasing this elusive ideal of a well-ordered life.

For us, living well is about enough – enough time, money, friends and success.

We curate Pinterest boards, read books, attend conferences and absorb blog posts.  We implement ideas, and we use the pretty planners and download the popular apps. We build our emergency fund. We fill our freezers with a month of meals. We have consistent quiet times with the Lord.

We support fair trade. We invest in our communities. We have regular date nights. We know the love languages of our children.

And it isn’t enough.

The ache inside us reveals an emptiness “enough” can never fill because we were not created for enough.

“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” —Genesis 2:8-9

This wasn’t just a little patch of wild flowers. Eden was a magnificent space full of both beauty and function. From the beginning of creation, God’s plan for us has been more-than-enough. He created a paradise for Adam and Eve and filled it with every kind of fruit and food. God didn’t just give them a few options for sustenance as they cared for His creation. He offered them a vast array of tastes and smells and all things “pleasant to the sight.” His provision was, from the very start, abundant.

Created in the image of God, we are made for more than just surviving the days of our lives. And yet that is exactly what we settle for.  Living well is more than a meal plan and a cleaning routine. Life to the full is more than good finances and annual vacations. Abundant life is more than having enough.

As long as we define living well in the context of enough, we’ll never experience the fullness of life God intends for us.

 

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