John Bogle, founder of the mutual fund, Vanguard, writes in his book, Enough, “not knowing what is enough leads us astray in life leading to the subversion of our character and values.”
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So what does Scripture have to say about when enough is enough?
Jesus cautions, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.”
And then there’s Jesus’s wonderful parable of the fool who built bigger barns!! He lives in the future tense. “I will build bigger barns. And then, I will say to myself, take life easy, eat, drink and be merry.
God calls him a fool, because in fact, death overtakes him before he does any of these things. And God interrogates him, “All these things you have stored for yourself, whose then will they be?”
I liked the New Yorker cartoon which shows vulturous relatives gathered as a will is read. The will says simply, “Being of sound mind, I have decided to spend it all now.”
There is something sane and healthy about that, though I would not like to die with my finances quite so neatly balanced. “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’schildren,” Proverbs 13:22 An inheritance is a sweet and magical thing–goodness one hasn’t earned!!–and to bless your children with it that plays a part in people working for longer than they need to.
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And learning the meaning of enough opens up many things–time for relaxation, time for friends, time for hobbies. Time to simply be.
The concept of enough has a particular piquancy for me because I find it hard to know when enough is enough, whether it is with buying books, or plants for my garden, or laying off the chocolate, or stopping work on something which fascinates me, or placing boundaries, or …. whatever…
Fortunately, for those born restless, like I am, there is a source of Enough.
“Thou hast made us for thyself, Oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you,” Augustine wrote.
There is rest, there is enough, in Infinity, in God, who has Enough, and Enough and Enough for even the most restless spirit.
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