“When the Lord your God has brought you into the land he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you – a land with fine, large cities that you did not build, houses filled with all sorts of goods that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant – and when you have eaten your fill, take care that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Deuteronomy 6:10-12
Thinking of all the “things on my plate.” And about how I have a plate..and things. I do live in a house I didn’t build, full of furniture I didn’t make, filled with “goods I didn’t fill.” I drink water from a well I didn’t dig, eat food I didn’t raise or grow or harvest, and I need to remember to Thank God for all the bounty and beauty in my life. I need reminders that the things on my plate are God’s blessings that lead to living a life “abundant and eternal;” that the people, the places, and activities are all of and for God.
It is easy to get “overwhelmed” with all the “things on my plate.” I don’t get to see my kids (daughter and grandgirl) every day, but I am sooo much closer to them than I was ten years ago. The busy-ness of the church makes my shoulders ache sometimes, but then I see the kids who are in our midst, whom we teach and love and share with, and I recall that each life is a precious and unique gift from God to all of us. I see the new paint and carpeting and rose garden and parking lot, and I remember that God is the One who gave this church its bounty. I see the youth we will all get to watch grow into young adults, who will then become parents themselves, and I remember Roger Palmer singing Louis Armstrong’s song, “What a Wonderful World,” and I know that there is still goodness and beauty in this world. As Hildegard of Bingen said, “All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” I know it will be okay. That with God’s help and the Spirit’s leading, my full plate will not overwhelm me.
We all have family, friends, work, the world, the church, life, to “deal with.” We all have lots of things “on our plate.” Let us remember whose plate it really is, and where the nourishment and provision, the love, the joy, the living, truly come from. And how to share what is “on our plate.” For none of it is really ours; it all belongs to God; it all belongs to our Lord, who fills our plates with what we need and what the world needs for us to share. Let us Give Thanks for our Full Plates. Let us “take care not to forget the Lord, who brought you out…of slavery.”
Happy Thanksgiving, and Blessings