‘Enough’ is an elusive feeling in Cambridge. Time is short and we don’t have enough of it. I’ve never done enough work this week. I’ve never spent enough time with friends in college, or done enough sport, or been in touch with my family enough.
It may sound like I’m being too harsh; you may think I should learn to love myself, limitations and all. But is the answer really found in lowering the bar?
And what about when it comes to how I’ve treated the person of Jesus? If he really is the one behind reality, who gives me each breath and friendship and giggle – I realise that this claim about Jesus is a big ‘if’ for many of us, but please don’t write it off without looking at the evidence about him yourself – but if the claim about Jesus is true, then there is no way I have loved him enough. That’s a huge understatement; I often want nothing to do with him and would rather do my own thing.
And that’s no small thing: turning my back on the source of everything good is hugely offensive. How can I expect to keep those good things if I want nothing to do with the person they come from?
I don’t know how you deal with feelings of inadequacy, but my instinct is to try harder to show that I am enough. I found myself doing this again midway through last term, when a friend very helpfully and honestly told me that I wasn’t enough, and reminded me that that’s exactly what the good news of Jesus is about.
The accounts of Jesus’ life tell us that as he was crucified, just before he died, he shouted out, ‘It is finished’. In other words: it’s done, it’s enough. Jesus lovingly took the hit for all my inadequacy, in how I relate to others and most importantly in how I treat God.
This is literally the best news, that I am enough to God, not because I’ve tried hard enough but because Jesus has done enough. I often slip into thinking like I did during Michaelmas, but remembering what Jesus has done completely changes the way I approach Cambridge life: I can enjoy time with friends, do some work, go for a run, and phone my family without the niggling worry of whether I’m doing enough of those things. And it totally changes the way I look at the future: I know that one day when I see Jesus he will be pleased with me and I will be enough because of him.