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That's Sufficient
Mark  »

According to my three year old son, there is no one ultimate Christmas gift. Rather, there are three gifts that make for a good Christmas: a boy doll (read: robot), a boat (read: tub size not lake size), and a Mario Race Track (read: Hot Wheels set).

Now, according to his older sister, my six year old daughter, there is one ultimate Christmas gift. The gift, obviously, is an LOL Surprise Winter Disco Chalet Wooden Doll House with an ice skating rink. I will cede the point that that is an ultimate gift, given its price tag of $250.

But for me, most evenings at the dinner table I’m reminded of what I perceive to be the ultimate (Christmas) gift. You see, without fail, no matter how delicious my wife or I make dinner, likely our children will demand ranch dressing, ketchup, or parmesan cheese upon their plates.  At six and three years old they both wish to pour out their preferred condiment on their own. This action usually incites a dull comment from me after a few seconds of them squeezing or shaking the bottle. “That’s sufficient,” I say. I have said it so often and out of wrote automation that for the past month even before I realize I have uttered that phrase my kids begin to grin, their eyes start to widen, and they say with gusto, “You said sufficient, you said sufficient, you said sufficient!”

Indeed, I said sufficient. For I think they have poured out enough upon their plates. I do not quite understand the fascination my children have with the word 'sufficient,' but in some way I have my own fascination with that word, too. It is a word I would like to make real, welcome, and accompany.

The best gift for me in this tiring year isn’t glitzy, glamourous, over-the-top, or even awe-inspiring. That which isn’t too little or too much; neither brash or timid; that which is sufficient is a gift. It is enough.  What is sufficient and how can it be real? The Nativity certainly is an example for me.

The manger – the lack of support, concern, and yes room at the inn – says a lot about us, but it also says a lot about God: for Him, a lowly manager was sufficient.

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