When is enough, ‘enough?’

Our pastor came to visit us today and asked my 91-year-young father if I was taking good care of him. Do not let my father’s age fool you! He has the energy of a 60-year-old in good health and is of sound mind.

My father’s response was both adamantly noteworthy and praise-filled. He would most assuredly deny any false exaggeration in complete and utter humility, which he did when I asserted as such following the departure of our pastor.

I told my father that I did not feel like I was doing enough for him, or that I was doing enough for God. He responded in kind; even now I find myself shaking my head in thorough disbelief at his remark.

After retiring two years ago, I threw myself into volunteer work feeling somewhat guilty that I was not ‘doing enough’ with all this time I had on my hands. I made some great memories with two of my grandchildren as well. However, once the shelter in place orders went into effect due to the pandemic, I willingly gave up these activities so as not to endanger my father’s health—we live in the same house.

He prepares most of his own meals, does his laundry, vacuums, etc., leaving me little to do that is praiseworthy. And yet here we are, both feeling like we are not doing enough for God.

This last couple of weeks my father has been out in the yard spreading mulch, planting grass seed and landscaping. As I watched him, I thought to myself, “this isn’t just about getting the yard the way he wants it; this is also about preparing the place for me, his only daughter, in the time he has left.”

I had just finished reading Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright where I read the following:

Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Christ honored in the world—all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. This is the logic of the mission of God.

I think we can both stop worrying, Dad, because that sounds like more than enough to me!