When Survival Becomes Living in Excess

Have you ever had one of those seasons where you invest so much of your time and energy into something, that you just don’t have anything left to invest anywhere else?

My friend and I were talking about it a few days ago. When our hearts wanted to go a thousand different directions to work on really good things, priorities took over and drained everything we had.

We asked the Lord to make the hours He had given us enough to do all that He wanted us to do.

I sat on my couch, staring out the window, talking to her on the phone, knowing my list of things to do was a mile long. I needed to keep up; even work ahead. But I really needed this, too.

He made my time enough.


A couple nights ago, I stayed up until late in the night, writing a paper for school. If I finished it that night, I could take most of the next day off so I could breathe and go exploring in the beautiful fall colors bursting outside.

I didn’t quite get everything finished, but He still made it enough, giving me time to rest.

Every Monday I look at the week ahead, and I cannot help but feel overwhelmed. I don’t know where I’m going to find the time and still maintain a small amount of sanity.

Then, a blessing drops at my doorstep. A few hours of uninterrupted productivity; someone doing something for me that makes me breathe a little easier; an obligation turning into a moment of laughter and joy.

He knew my schedule – what I really needed to do and what I really didn’t – and He made the hours enough.

In all these small things, the Lord was faithful to provide everything I needed in the moment. Not only that, but He made what He had given me enough to accomplish every good and important thing in my life right then.

Nothing more, nothing less.

I often want to skip ahead – looking toward what I can do now to get me where I want to go faster. I gather the manna in fistfuls, hoping it will sustain me for the week (or the month…), not just the day.

And sometimes I’m afraid everything I do to keep up is rotting right in front of me.

Do not take more than what you need for the day. His mercies are new with each new day.

When I’m tempted to take, I lose what has already been given.

Chasing after relief for tomorrow robs today of the grace that has already been offered. It is swindled searching for an excess that is a false sense of survival. When anxiousness creeps in, provision is hoarded, as if it can be bought and stored away for a rainy day. So we live in excess that’s guaranteed to rot into worry by the time peace is most needed.

We think excess will solve our problems – but it only creates more. It cannot meet the longing that living brings.

I had all I needed in moments from the past. Why wouldn’t I trust He would give what I need for the next moments?

We’re not called to survive by living out tomorrow before it happens. We’re just called to live.

He’ll take care of the path, one step at a time.
He’ll provide what we need, one thing at a time.
He’ll take us to the next place, one subtle transition at a time.

It will be enough.

I’m really tired today, but I know He will take care of right now. Tomorrow will be taken care of, too. But I don’t have to feel like I’m pushing through only so I can survive the next moment. A million moments before have already been lived and gone.

And they were enough.

Each one was enough for the next. They still will be in the future, no matter what’s to come. He has made what He has given me enough.

5 thoughts on “When Survival Becomes Living in Excess

  1. Annika says:

    Thoughtful reflection. When I feel overwhelmed I employ the technique of focusing on only what needs to be done today or in that hour and give the rest to God. It helps lift my anxiety about the future. When I do this I often find that the things I was worried about the most were not an issue at all.

    “Don’t spend your energies on things that generate worry, anxiety and anguish. Only one thing is necessary: Lift up your spirit and love God.” – Saint Padre Pio


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