“No, no, no. You’re a perfectly adequate girlfriend…”
Okay so I should explain. I did say the above words to my girlfriend. It was in response to her describing herself as an inadequate girlfriend. She is not inadequate.
She is adequate.
Now this isn’t the way it’s supposed to go is it? I’m meant to say she is more than adequate, way, way more.
But she isn’t.
She is perfectly adequate.
Perfection isn’t more than enough. Perfection is enough. Lily is not way more than I need she is exactly what I need. She is an incredible person to share a life with. She is just right. Perfectly right.
So what about the Ancient Israelites on the run from Egypt. Where do they fit into all of this? Well with the word Dayenu. It is traditional for Jews at Passover to repeat the word Dayenu as they remember all the things YHWH has done for them. Translated it means ‘it would have been enough for us.’ So they say ‘it would have been enough’ after each stanza like ‘If he had brought us out of Egypt’ it would have been enough. And they keep working through the story like ‘If he had split the Red Sea for us’, Dayenu ‘If he had provided for our needs in the wilderness for forty years’ Dayenu and ‘If he had given us the Torah’ Dayenu all the time expanding what their definition of ‘enough’ was. If YHWH had just led them out of Egypt that would have been enough for them but at each new stage YHWH opens up the meaning of enough that bit further. In the story
YHWH doesn’t do more than enough
He is one step ahead of his people. He knows what He’s doing. He is perfectly adequate. A God that is way over the top and does more than is necessary is a bit frivolous, a bit superficial. By going over the mark He’d be missing the mark. It would be a bit chaotic, a bit unnerving. A girlfriend who is more than enough is… too much for you – man up and be the man she needs you to be. If she’s more than enough for you it’s possible you’re not enough for her
or at least not yet.
Hang in there.
Lily is perfectly adequate because all the time she finds new ways of sharing the joys and wonders of life with me. All the time she stretches me and shows me what life can be. I don’t realise I need something and before I fully grasp it – she’s there, being enough. She is funny, smart, beautiful, charming, quick on her feet and perfectly, perfectly adequate.