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Best of Daily Reflections: Menu Planning and Other Reminders of God

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

Matthew 6:26

On Mondays, I plan the week’s meals.

At the kitchen island with laptop, notebook, and pen, I tick through a week of food blogs, scribble down notes, half-inspirations, check the calendar for people coming over or us heading out of town. Meal planning was habituated first out of the necessity of reducing waste. We, the newly-married, do well enough. But she’s in a PhD program, and I’m an author—old truths about such labors and their accompanying lack of wealth hold true for us. Menu planning was about making sure what was purchased was used, leftovers accounted for, nothing left to waste that could be reinvented.

These days, that’s changing. Menu planning, with its expected labors of grocery list and negotiated pantry-space in our small apartment with only an overhead cabinet to spare for dry goods, is becoming an act of worship and trust. I don’t know what I believe about tithe sometimes. (That may seem unrelated, but keep with me.) To hear it told, some think that if you give X, God will render you back X times a thousand. That’s not my experience, perhaps because I’ve never given out of that expectation in the first place. But what I have experienced is the mercy of there always being enough. And that’s what menu planning has become: the mercy of there always being enough. A reminder from God that when we steward God’s abundance well, God gives out of the abundance. Somehow the chicken stretches from dinner for lunch the next day. Somehow the right meat goes on sale, the wine is cheaper than was expected, the wilting veg still firm enough to reserve for stock.

I tend to see God most when I don’t try to look directly at God. If I overthink an activity as being spiritual, I miss the ways in which God was already at work in it. But if I go about it with a kind of open expectation that because the Holy Spirit dwells within me God will be present, I find God surprising me with the ways God saturates a space, a practice, a habit as ordinary as planning a week’s meals.

Habituated recognition of enough, that God gives enough. That’s what I am finding these days. That’s what is seeing me through.

FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:

What are you already doing in your daily life that reminds you to depend on God? Do you ever try to see God too directly and miss God altogether?

PRAYER:

O God, who desires all people to know the abundance of your feast, grant that we in our daily lives may be the offerers of abundance to all who are hungry, that we ourselves may be fed by you, and in all things give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

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