We used to grow zucchini. It was easy to grow and the family loved the zucchini bread I would bake. I recall so many times when I would be looking for a zucchini to pick and I would find a ginormous one hiding underneath a large leaf. Those zucchini grew oh-so-fast! Sometimes it was even hard to give those things away because there were so many of them. In fact, did you know that August 8th was officially “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night”. Established by Pennsylvanian Tom Roy, this day encourages sharing and as Tom Roy announced: “Due to the overzealous planting of zucchini, citizens are asked to drop off baskets of the squash on neighbors’ doorsteps.”
I don’t have too much zucchini this year – I neither planted it nor am I looking for any donations. But my daughter Kristen thought it would be fun to buy some tomatoes from the local farmers market and make some tomato-y things. We bought a big box. She made and canned homemade marinara sauce. Such a big box of tomatoes. She made and canned tomato ketchup. There were still tomatoes. She made and canned some salsa. There were still tomatoes. Did I tell you that it was a very big box?
It made me think of the saying about having too much of a good thing. But I don’t think that is a correct description because, what’s wrong with all those good tomatoes? I looked up “too much” in the bible and it always referred to having more than was good for you:
1 Kings 19:7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”
Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
Proverbs 25:16 If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.
Proverbs 25:17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house— too much of you, and they will hate you.
John 2:10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
Now the bible also talks about having things in “abundance”:
Genesis 27:28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness— an abundance of grain and new wine.
Job 36:31 This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance.
2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
The bottom line is: If you have more than you can make good use of, then you have too much. But if you can make good use of too many tomatoes, then you have an abundance. It is not good if too much stress in your life makes you physically sick. Too much food and too much wine is also bad for you, unless you know how to take the over-abundance and store it up for later, or even share your bounty. It is not ‘too much’ if you know how to share or save it for later. It is ‘too much’ if it has negative effects or rots and goes bad before you can even use it.
If I had too much money, I would share my over-abundance with others. Too much time can lead one to evil deeds unless you use that spare time for good tasks. Too much of anything is … well … too much. And abundance is when you can turn your too-much-of-a-good-thing into something good for now and later, for yourself and others.
Do you have too much of something in your life that is being wasted? I hope you can turn it around and make it an abundance of something good.
The tomato sauce I made today is still simmering on the stove 🙂