Saturday, January 18, 2014

Eat With Me Today

Saul met Samuel in the gateway and said, “Please tell me where the seer lives.”  Samuel answered Saul: “I am the seer.  Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today.  In the morning, before dismissing you, I will tell you whatever you wish.”  1 Samuel 9:18-19

Jesus went out along the sea.  All the crowd came to him and he taught them.  As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post.  Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”  And he got up and followed Jesus.  Mark 2:13-14

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I'm looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

The unexpected happens when we are open to the encounter with God in the persons we meet along the way. Saul was out looking for his lost donkeys.  His father expected him to return home with the animals. Interestingly enough, Samuel invited Saul to eat with him today, foreshadowing the many ways that a relationship with the Lord feeds us in our daily lives. The simple act of meeting up and eating up lead to the anointing of Saul.

Levi was sitting at his desk collecting taxes.  When he kissed his wife good-bye and left for work, he did not say, “See you tonight, Honey.  I am going to quit my job today and follow that itinerant preacher from Nazareth.”  Jesus was just out for a typical walk.  Here the simple, ordinary act of passing by Levi who was collecting taxes led to the encounter that changed Levi forever. Levi just got up and walked on His way, changing direction forever.

Neither the Old Testament Saul nor Levi saw the kind of burning bush that Moses encountered on Mount Horeb in the narrative of Exodus.  Neither was knocked off their horse and blinded by the New Testament heir Saul of Tarsus.  They were engaged in everyday activities.  But the encounter they had ensures that their lives – and the lives of those around them – will never be the same.

Inspiration comes from unexpected places.   If we set out with the goal of finding God, we may not find God…but God will find us. 

Sometimes, when I listen to nuns and priests answer the question of how their vocation came to them, I am surprised to hear how ordinary the experience was.  Sure, there are some who got struck by a bolt of lightning.  But others just grew into the vocation slowly, over time.  This experience is not unlike married couples.  In the course of our lives, we meet many members of the opposite gender.  Sure, sometimes you hear the stories of love at first site.  But our lives are not some commercial for,, or some other relationship site. More likely, slowly, over ordinary time, a particular person becomes the One.

Where will God find you today?  Who will be the person that God acts through in approaching you?

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