---by Kalin Lippsmeyer
Jaw-dropping moments don’t happen very often. You know those moments when something is just so astounding that your mouth naturally just drops open, and you are just left there standing in awe? Honestly, I didn’t really believe genuine jaw-dropping moments existed until the other day when I found my mouth just hanging open and was too shocked to consider the repercussions. First, it means that they actually do happen outside of books and movies! Who knew? Secondly, it means that which preceded it probably has life-altering effects or something...
I can see it now: “How was your day today?” “Eh, just jaw-dropping with life altering potential—no big.”
So, I care to share: I was sitting on the couch in my room reading a spiffy little book which happens to be A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Father Jacques Philippe (probably some holy French guy), when I got to a sentence that really hit home. To preface, he’s talking about peace of heart, and the-grass-is spiritually-greener-in-another’s-yard-syndrome… He says, “The real life is elsewhere, I tell myself, and I simply forget to live. Oftentimes it would take so little for everything to be different and for me to progress with giant steps: a different outlook, a view of my situation which is one of confidence and hope (based on the certitude that I will lack nothing).”
You know what got me? The parenthesis. It’s ironic because that’s probably the “duh”-you-should know-but-I’ll-give-you-a-reminder-how-I-got-to-this-conclusion-in-case-you-need-to-freshen-up-on-your pre-k-Catechism. So, after reading this I stood up and I murmured some kind of exclamation and I found my mouth hanging open. Then I started freaking out. Then my brain started to kick in again, and I noticed I had just had a jaw-dropping moment.
Now, I know that Fr. J is speaking of the spiritual fact that God never leaves us lacking Himself, or lacking anything that we need to grow closer to Him, become holier, or love better. But I took it as a truth all around. I think I missed the bible camp memo session that God doesn’t leave us lacking because this just astounded me. It’s frightening, surprising and startling to me. I started to think: What if I really lived my life certain that I would lack nothing? For starters I’d be a lot more generous. I wouldn’t have to worry because I’d be certain that I would lack nothing. I wouldn’t worry about college debt or what job I will have in the future. I wouldn’t lack what I needed. So, of course the Holy Spirit is just funny. Today’s first reading was a story I didn’t even remember about Elijah and a poor lady and her son. Enter strange man, Elijah, who is hungry because he’s out of food. Elijah asks poor lady and son who are slowly dying of starvation to make him a cake with their last bit of flour. The lady tells him that after this they were preparing to die. Die.Um yeah, if this were me I don’t know what I do but I sure know that I’d think, “My son and I are preparing to die of starvation after we use this last bit of flour we have been rationing for weeks and you have the audacity to ask us for a some bread?!? There’s not even enough for me and my son. I don’t care if God told you or not. You’re probably hearing voices or are out of your mind. You can go get lost and find wild locusts to eat or something, but you ain't gettin’ no cake from me boy. ” Bzzt, wrong answer. Holy answer is dying woman makes Elijah bread/cake (whatever) with last bit of flour. Then holy woman’s flour and oil jars self-replenish for a year until next rainfall.
Okay, so proof that God ≠ lack. But you know how much trust that would have taken? He can’t fill the jars until she decides and all that flour’s gone. Oh how many times I mistrust and I can tell you that it’s never death that is at stake as it was for the holy woman. Isn’t that the ultimate form of trust? Trusting even unto death (reminds me of Jesus). And what does God do? Pulls another “you won’t go hungry cause I’m going to give you stuff to make bread, heaven” (sounds familiar).
I don’t have to worry about dying of starvation. I don’t have to wait for a savior or worry about the gates to heaven being closed. I don’t even have to make my own bread!
I don’t get oil and flour. I get Jesus.
My new prayer: Trust in God, and live life based on the certitude that I will lack nothing (because it’s already overwhelmingly true).