As members of the Karns football team made their way into our fellowship hall for their pre-game meal, there seemed to be more of them than we had expected. The look I received from Jackie, our church hostess, suggested a wee bit of panic. Not much panic, but enough to send her up the street to Food City to buy some more bananas.
After we welcomed the team to our church and asked a blessing for the meal, I made my way to the kitchen to see how much food we really did have. We had prepared for 100, plus 20 extra. Surely, there would be enough (but not if Lola kept giving everybody two rolls). For the next 10 minutes or so, I was back and forth between looking at the line of players and at the food on the serving table. As best I could tell, we were on target. As the line got shorter, it became apparent that we would have more than enough. Barbara, Bernice, Jackie and Lola did a wonderful job feeding those boys, even though we were a little uncertain at the beginning.
Thinking that we need more of something is not an unusual response to a situation. More is often the answer given to problems and issues facing our society. More teachers will improve our educational system. More police officers will make our communities safer. More alternative fuel automobiles will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. More border patrols and fences will reduce the number of illegal immigrants. More of everything will make us more of what we want to be. There are dilemmas facing our world, and challenges that we face as individuals, that may only be solved by more of something.
However, more is not always the answer. When Jesus was asked by His followers to increase their faith, His response was to tell them that they had all the faith that they needed. He said that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed they could uproot bushes and plant them in the sea. Such a response might cause us to think that Jesus was suggesting that His followers use their faith as some sort of Jedi mind trick, but I really don’t think that was what He was trying to say. What seems more apparent in Jesus’ response is that He wanted His followers to know they did not need more faith; they had enough faith. When the tiny size of the mustard seed is considered, to have less faith than the size of a mustard seed seems more unlikely than having as much or more faith than the size of a mustard seed. To have less faith than the size of a mustard seed would be to have no faith at all. To have any faith at all is to have enough.
In a culture that has more of most everything, and that instinctively proposes more of something as the solution to most any problem, it is important for followers of Christ to bear witness to the possibility that we have enough. We have enough faith. We may need more courage, more wisdom, or more understanding, but we have enough faith to live the life Christ has called us to. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can choose to be what God needs for us to be in the world.