“He took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied.” – Mt. 15:36-37
When I was young, whether it was candy, French fries, or a favorite dish my mom cooked, I would concern myself with the possibility that there was not enough to go around, especially since I wanted a large portion for myself. As I grow older, this idea of scarcity manifests itself in more abstract ways. Do I have enough hours in the days to do the things I want or spend with the people I love? Will I have enough years left in my life to experience or accomplish all that I hope before I depart this world? I realize at the heart of the matter that the disquietude about scarcity stems from my neediness. I need to be fulfilled. I need to be satisfied. I need to live a full, happy life. And of course, I need to love and be loved.
For most of the things I perceive needing, I can fulfill the void with varying degrees of effort. If I am hungry, I can pick up something from In-and-Out. If I am unsatisfied with my job, I can look for another one. If I am feeling restless and need an adventure, I can take a vacation. This attitude of working towards satisfying my needs also expresses itself how I earn love or allow myself to be loved. I try to make myself more lovable by willing myself to be more desirable, successful, talented, caring, compassionate, etc. If I don’t reach some benchmark I set for myself, I don’t receive love fully because I don’t perceive myself having earned it.
I transfer my own neediness on to others and God. I perceive my family, friends, and God needing me to be x, y, z before they will love me. Suppose I come as I am, without any inflated pretense of who I should be. Suppose I come to the table as my authentic self, all “seven loaves and one fish” of me. Will that be enough for God? Can God multiply the things I bring to be food for Himself and others?
Lord Jesus, help me to see that with you and through you, there is always more than enough.