Q& A with Will Davis Jr
Your book is titled Enough, with chapters on “How Much is Enough?” and “Finding Your Enough.” What does “enough” mean to you?
My definition of enough has changed radically over the past few years. In fact, I’m not sure I’d really even thought about it until recently. I’d never been without enough, so I wasn’t forced to think about what enough was. But as I was blessed to start working with the poor, I began to see what enough really was and what it looked like to not have it. Biblically, enough was most clearly defined by Jesus when he taught us to pray for daily bread. Enough is having what I need today–physically and materially, but also spiritually and emotionally. If you add in Paul’s definition of enough as having food and covering, then you begin to see that the Bible’s view of enough is very different from most of ours.
Your book is full of really practical and excellent practices to help people begin to live with less. Can you suggest one practice that all of us can do to begin our own to journeys towards “enough?”
Here’s one I’m working on personally right now. Create your own necessary /unnecessary list. I did this after a recent trip to Haiti when I was once again confronted with how much more I have than I need. I listed what I think my needs or necessities are and then I tried to see how many I could actually move to my unnecessary list.
For instance, living in Texas, I might list air conditioning on my list of necessities. But after my week in Haiti I know that I don’t need it; it’s a luxury. I don’t have to have it to survive. Or my car–it’s easy to think that it’s something I have to have. But I don’t. I can live without a car. I can walk or ride the bus or ride my bike. But having a car isn’t a need. I really can live without it.
Once I have my necessary/unnecessary lists, I try to see how much stuff I can move off of my necessary list to my unnecessary list. The point is to have as few items as possible on the necessary side and even fewer on unnecessary side. In other words, if I don’t really need it, I try to get rid of it. It’s a simple exercise to help me practice simple, clutter-free living.
Will Davis Jr. (DMin, Southwestern Seminary) is the founding and senior pastor of Austin Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Austin, Texas. He is the author of Pray Big, Pray Big for Your Marriage, Pray Big for Your Child, Why Faith Makes Sense, and 10 Things Jesus Never Said. An avid hiker, mountain-biker, and water-skier, Davis and his wife, Susie, have three children and live in Austin, Texas. For more information about Will and his blog, visit http://willdavisjr.com.