He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. (Eccl 5:10-12)
Why do so many of us travel the road to More?
It is not an easy road. It often demands early mornings, late nights and short weekends. It causes headaches and heartaches and hernias. It is a crowded road. A long road. A road that winds ever onward but never homeward.
Surely it is fair to ask a traveler, “Why?”
The reason is not hard to find. We travel the road to More hoping it leads to the city of Enough. When we get to Enough, we trust we will find rest and peace and contentment. In Enough, our hearts are always full. In Enough, our anxieties are always small. But to get to the city of Enough, we must travel the road to More.
The road is sprinkled with smaller cities that nourish our hopes. The city of “Just a Little Bit More” is not a long trip. It’s a nice enough city but it is not Enough. So we press on down the road to More, hoping to find Enough just around the corner. But around the corner is the village of “More Still”. We hadn’t expected that. Why wasn’t it on the map? Yet having travelled this far, we press onward and soon we arrive in “More and More”. And then “Even More Still”. But it is never Enough!
So how far down the road to More do you have to travel to get to the city of Enough?
That’s the rub. The road to More does not lead to the city of Enough.
You can travel the road to More for your entire life and never find Enough. It is on a completely different road—or more accurately, it is not found on a road at all. Enough is found in the heart, not around the corner. It is a carry-on bag, not a destination. If we don’t pack our Enough before we go, we will never find it on our journey. Enough is only found in what one already has. Enough is an attitude, not a circumstance.
Just check with Solomon. Ecclesiastes describes his quest to find the city of Enough. First he built buildings and then more buildings. Then he built gardens and more gardens. Then he got more workers, more flocks and more herds.
But though he found a lot, he never found Enough. So he went further down the road to More: more gold, more silver; more sex and more song. He did more toil; he got more wisdom; he achieved more success. But he never found Enough.
He did meet someone who had been to Enough. It was an ordinary worker finding contentment in his ordinary work. Perhaps a worker who was working for him. Solomon admired this as a gift to those who please God, who have made their peace with him.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. (Eccl 2:24-26)
Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. (Eccl 5:10-12)
In Jesus’ words, those who seek first God’s Kingdom find “all these things” added to their lives. As Paul puts it, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Enough is found when the fullness of God is poured out in our hearts. Houses, jobs, bank accounts, and prestige line a different road. But when our heart has found its Enough in God, our houses, jobs and bank accounts are blessed with the gift of Enough as well.
Solomon becomes our model for discontent. He refused to have faith in the gift of God. He didn’t believe God would reward those who diligently sought Him. He offered God half a heart and he ended his days a bitter sojourner struggling down the road to More.
Lord, give us the grace to choose our road more wisely...