Have You Considered Believing that Right Now You Are Enough?

There’s a silly little voice that will whisper into your ear and tell you that you aren’t there yet. You can’t possibly benefit anyone with what you are doing. Maybe someday, when you’re a bigger deal, but right now? You’re mostly nonessential.

Your platform isn’t large enough.

Your church isn’t big enough.

Your non-profit doesn’t have enough funding.

Your business doesn’t pull enough profit.

You haven’t been married for long enough.

You’re single.

You’re not old enough.

You’re not young enough.

In other words, you’re not there yet. Someday. Maybe. But not now.

* * * * *

I got a text the other day from a friend. It went something like this:

“I was just talking to a guy I work with. He said his wife reads your blog and it was the deciding factor that led her to agree with his dream of opening his own store.”

But I don’t have enough readers to influence that kind of meaningful change. My novel hasn’t been published. I don’t have a bestseller. Right? RIGHT?

* * * * *

Have you considered the thought that right now you are enough? Have you considered the thought that your

small church

small non-profit

small business

small blog

small book

small acts of kindness

are making big waves in someone’s life? Someone you don’t know or will never meet or will probably never hear from. Someone who needs the words you are writing or the good you are doing or the questions you are asking. Someone for whom your existence

is enough.

* * * * *

Believing this, how does it change the way you do what you do? How would you approach each day differently if you believed that a person’s life will be altered, in large ways or small ways, by the quality of the job that you do?

Your purpose in life isn’t out there somewhere, in that faraway land when you have 10,000 Facebook followers or sell 100,000 books or your church goes mega or your business expands or your non-profit has enough money to save all the children in the world.

Your purpose is today. Right now.

Whatever you’re doing, do it well.

That is enough.

* * * * *

Please come back tomorrow for the first installment of a new Friday series in which individuals involved in fostering or adoption share their stories. Trust me – you don’t want to miss it.

26 Replies to “Have You Considered Believing that Right Now You Are Enough?”

  1. Hi Shawn, thanks this speaks to me in a very real way. In several aspects of my life. Thank you for reminding me that I am enough where I am at in life. Does not mean I am going to quit trying to make life better for those around me and myself. It is a good reminder that my life right now makes a difference for someone somewhere. Thanks again!!

  2. Thanks for the confirmation of this idea! Jerre and I just had this conversation laying in bed last night, looking up at the ceiling, asking ourselves these questions. When will we find our “nitch”? When will we have enough money to pursue buying our own house? When will a great business deal come OUR way? When will I have victory over my weight struggles and when will Jerre be able to really dream big??? WHEN? And as we lay there we asked ourselves this question “what’s the point?” What is the point of chasing financial excess, a thin body, having our big dreams come true? Isn’t God the gift giver? Why are we chasing after these things, for what reason?
    Anyway, Thanks for the reminded that today I don’t have to chase anything. I just need to find contentment in today and do the best at the job I have been given! And when the Gift Giver sees that the time is just right the flood gates will be opened!

    1. So interesting, Jessica. You know, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to make your way in the world, but you make an excellent point – chasing things at the cost of contentment is a great way to waste a life.

  3. Shawn — like the woman in this post … your blog being the deciding factor in agreeing with her husband about opening his own store …. your blog has changed my life radically. It all started with something as simple as seeing your blog’s opening quote by John Irving on someone else’s blog and then following it out to find you and your family. Your writing, your interactions with your wife about all this “stuff” is giving me (us) courage to say out loud what the life is that we love and begin to have the courage to live it! What you are doing here IS ENOUGH….but i know in my heart that God has so much more coming your way. Since visiting your blog for the first time only 2 months ago, claiming the Irving quote as my own …. we have rented out our house in a safe, boring, responsible neighborhood and moved to the beach into a house that SOMEONE ELSE OWNS :) (p.s. i grew up spending my summers on Sarasota beaches – like where your uncle lives) Out here now i can live, REALLY live, breathe and write as my heart takes in the sunrise every morning on the beach. You got on a bus … we moved to the beach right in our own hometown. So close, but it always seemed such a “far away” dream that only other people could have. It was not! YOUR WRITING, your life, your wife and family, your love of God and people …. is opening up hearts and minds in places you can’t even imagine…..in st. augustine, florida :) praying that your heart deeply breathes in your own words! peace!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Julie, and well done in making the move. I’m really happy for you. And thanks for that last prayer as well.

  4. Shawn! Needed to hear this! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought “Blogging is a young man’s game,” or “This job, it doesn’t make a difference.”

    Such toxic thoughts.

    But we’re looking for a city, right? One with foundations, whose builder and maker is God. All He requires is that we press on. And like Abraham, you have laid a great foundation here, Shawn, for many to build upon. The late Charles Williams said “Sometimes altars must be built in on place, so thst the fire from heaven can fall in another.”

  5. Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen. Whenever I have doubts about what I’m doing, I think about the people who moved forward with plans after I moved to TN because my example encouraged them. I remember the comments and emails from blog readers who tell me the way I’m making a difference in their life. I consider the patients I used to care for and the large and loving circle of friends and family in my life. I may not make a difference on a grand scale but to so many people, I’m more than enough. It takes conscientious effort and choice to remember these things but we must and shall go free.

  6. Good stuff. I was really disappointed that I didn’t meet my birthday goal for Nuru. Doing some of the “I wish I had more readers so I could have helped more” kind of whining. But the thing is, people gave and Nuru has more money than they did if I hadn’t mentioned them at all. Someone is going to have clean water because people were generous and they were able to be generous because I wrote something. That’s pretty amazing.

    Thank you for your writing. I’ve said it before, but your John 3:17 post absolutely changed my life. I’m very thankful to know you virtually, and look forward to someday giving you a real live hug.

    1. Alise, don’t let missing your goal keep you from trying again, or trying other similar things. Keep stepping out. Every time you do it, you accomplish awesome things. You might be tempted to think they’re small, but they’re not. They’re enough.

  7. When I was younger I wanted to do big capers with God. I did a bunch of perfectly fine ministry things seen by millions of people. Now that I’m older I realize that the time that I spend one on one with my music students… mentoring them spiritually and loving them is an amazing thing to get to participate in. Im not young, or hip, or cool, but I am around and focused and available. I’m so thankful that in God’s economy smaller is precious to him too. The amazing thing about music or blogging or video production is we work on something and put it out there, and we have no idea how many people’s lives are touched by it. I love the reminder that who we are really is enough.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda. I love what you wrote: “in God’s economy smaller is precious to him too.” Yes.

  8. This post made me stop and take a deep breath. I spend a lot of time feeling not enough or less than. Not energy well spent. Thanks for the reminder to look around where I am now (not where I think I should be) to focus on the difference I can make.

    And I’m VERY MUCH looking forward to your adoption/fostering series on Fridays! Near and dear to my heart!

    1. Breathe, Becky! You are enough. I think you’ll really enjoy the adoption/fostering series. The posts I’ve gotten so far are incredible.

  9. This post reminds me of the often overlooked and underrated movie Cool Runnings about the Olympic Jamaican bobsled team. John Candy, who played their coach, had a great line which applies to so much more than the gold medal he was talking about: “A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.”

  10. Great post! Brings to mind that question (Exodus 4:2)–what do you have in your hand? This, right now, enough.

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