Our texts for this Sunday give us a couple of perspectives on possessions; one pessimistic and one optimistic. The interesting thing about these two perspectives is they are both wrong. As anyone who listens to me much at all knows, I am deeply suspicious of either/or thinking so it was quite pleasing to have a seemingly complete binary to be completely wrong . . . but perhaps only I find it so.
The writer of Ecclesiastes comes at possessions from the perspective of “what will happen to my stuff after I die?” The Rich Fool, on the other hand, comes at possessions from the perspective of “what do I need to do so I’ll have all I need for the rest of my life?” Both of them are looking at the issue from the wrong end.
There is nothing wrong with possessions per se, possessions simply are, it is in our attitude toward them where trouble lies. Being so concerned about what happens to them after you are dead doesn’t help you make good use of them now but neither does being overly concerned about where you are going to put them.
In the end, it seems to me we can only decide when we have reached enough if we approach the “problem” from a different direction. Rather than asking, “Do I have enough?” we should be asking, “What is it I should be doing?” and then looking at what we have to see if it is sufficient.