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  • Katie Smith

Is enough, enough?




I recall all the weight conversations. What was enough to stop using the feeding tube? What's enough to avoid a colonoscopy? What's enough growth to stop visiting all the doctors? Is it enough therapy to help by baby boy thrive?


Did I get enough sleep to keep my sanity for seven years? I clearly remember asking myself how much sleep is enough.... really? When I can't get "enough" sleep, can I still function? Can I thrive?


What is enough money? I asked myself this question after visiting a third world country. How much is enough to care for all our kids? What's enough to survive and still thrive?


Some are asking if we have talked about racial reconciliation enough? Can we just call it all sin and move on with life? Will our society ever thrive again after so much pain?


Sin it is. BUT we must ask the right questions in order to understand such a sweeping statement.


When I told someone the title of my current manuscript, Antidote to Anxiety: a Road to Fearless Faith, I was quickly asked a strange question, "Jesus?" The question felt like an odd rhetorical statement or even an interjection, so I paused waiting for more details or context clues.


After a long, awkward silence, I finally asked my own interrogative statement: "What?" Then came a clearly stated opinion.: "The answer is Jesus, the antidote to anxiety... right?" Oh.... I see. "Well," I said. "Yes and No."


I am a walking mantra for keeping life simple, and when we overcomplicate, we open doors for rabbit trails or harried side streets, yet in some cases, we can oversimplify a topic leaving a listener more befuddled than before we began to talk.


The Bible doesn't just say, "you all sin; you all need Jesus... period. The end." There are pages and pages of stories and letters clarifying our tendencies to twist and thwart matters of the heart.


While hashtags and bumper stickers can help us quickly explain complex thoughts to children, they don't help us make sense of the world. There are situations that call for curt comments and simple solutions, but when it comes to sin, brokenness, and their ramifications, our hearts need to learn the rules of relationships.


Many people believe in Jesus, yet they still struggle with intense anxiety or depression. Likewise, many people may claim not to be "racist," yet their lives are full of blind-spotted prejudice. Saying, "okay it's all sin" and the solution is "Jesus," may actually feel like an oversimplification to the offended party.


Sometimes we need to sit and listen to a child cry about the tower he tediously built that his brother mindlessly destroyed. Sometimes kids just want to share the heart behind their masterpiece. If we completely ignore or playcate their plight, they feel alone in their frustration creating a bitter heart of misplaced anger.


Other instances call for a quick lesson and a move toward a new activity in order to avoid the weeds of self-pity. But these distinctions and determinations require a relationship. They require time and attention to decipher how to listen and respond with wisdom and love.


The same is true for our current culture. Our discussions and actions towards racial reconciliation are not meant to drag us away from the bigger picture, but actually see that same picture with more clarity. Oversimplifying sin doesn't help us grow away from it. Rather, when we listen and open our hearts to relationships, with everyone, the sin of self-righteousness can be recognized more easily and peeled away from our hearts. Like peeling an onion, "we may weep as we peel off useless shells."


Patronizing someone with an oversimplification is just as frustrating as confusing them with an over-complication. When you don't know someone and you shout "SINNER!" He/she might not even know what real "sin" means.


Likewise, you can't just shout "JESUS!" at a stranger if they don't even have a relationship with the Man. Sin will not be eradicated in this world, but that doesn't mean we stop talking about Jesus. Eventually He will eradicate it. God gave us a bridge through His son to be reconciled to Him again, so we must continue to build bridges through relationships with one another.


Have you had enough? Well that, like sleep or stuff, is all relative to your relationship with it.


Building real relationships with my boys helps bridge any gaps caused by our natural offenses. We bond as we build, and boy do the boys love to build, destroy, and build back again.




~CC

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