Main Content

Lenten Devotional 3-7-2024

Good morning all! Today’s devotional is written by Dr. Sage Elwell. He is Professor of Religion and Art and Chair of the Religion Department. As an artist himself, Dr. Elwell works in digital media, photography, sculpture, and book art. Beyond his artistic and academic brilliance, he is a wonderful mentor to our TCU students in the Religion Department, and a colleague to all of us in Religious and Spiritual Life. I hope you find comfort in his words today.

John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”


I used to ask the students in my Introductory Religion classes, “When is the last time you felt like you were enough.” Sadly, one of the most common answers was, “When I’m asleep.” At first I thought it was fluke, like I had a few classes facing particularly challenging life-events for a couple of semesters. But over the course of a few years “When I’m asleep” was consistently one of the most common replies. When I realized it wasn’t a fluke, I stopped asking because I started tearing up in class every time I got that answer. It’s hard to carry on teaching that way.

Our students here at TCU are under so much self-generated pressure to be perfect. They have internalized the expectations of their parents, professors, pastors, coaches, and friends to make good grades, earn a spot on the team, volunteer, be happy, look flawless, make money, party hard, study hard, and make it all look easy. It’s no wonder that being asleep is the last time many of our students felt like they were enough. But they are, we are, enough.

One of the most beautiful and inspiring things about the Christian message is its emphasis on having an abundant life. That phrase, “abundant life” is sometimes translated as “life to the full.” The expectations of others, pressure from professors and parents, are like thieves coming to rob of us our capacity to “have life to the full.” We are mean to have life abundantly, and the only way that is possible is if we start from a place of enough. There is nothing wrong with striving for success and aiming high, but the baseline must be a radical acceptance that we are enough. In all our messy incompleteness and failures, we are enough. This is the only way to have life, and have it to the full.

Let us pray.

Divine Creativity, let us be mindful that we are to live lives of abundance and fullness, and that in our imperfection we are always and forever, enough. Amen.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.