Faith at the Dinner Table

Faith at the Dinner Table

Recently, I was out with some friends enjoying a social evening together full of laughs, immature conversations and soul refreshing unconditional love. We had been passing around a homemade chocolate cheese cake and everyone used their individual spoon to scoop out their particular portion. When dessert made its second passing back to me, it was almost gone. Had I reached over to scoop up another bite, I would have been taking the last bite. Without a second though, I quickly passed the plate on to the next person and quietly proclaimed to my friends that I never eat the last of something.

I know that sounds odd or weird. Someone has to eat it and yet, I am saying that I specifically don’t eat the last bite of anything. That is not entirely true, but there is some strange merit to it.

One of my friends turns to me and says, “do you know why you do that?”

“No, I’ve just always been that way”

“It is because you fear running out of food because you always went without as a kid.”

Ok, taking a step back. This makes total sense. We were poor. We often had no food. Two serving meals were stretched to feed six. This impacted my life. However, in the moment, it was mind blowing to me. I had never connected the events.

Pro tip for teens: Don’t bury your scars so deep that it takes so many years to resurface. Instead, put it on your arm and keep exposing it until it heals.

So I took note of this moment, gave it some merit and decided I’d really come back to it later and dissect it. While I haven’t really come back to it, it did resurface today in an interesting way. What if my not taking the last bite was connected to my faith. That hit deep in my heart. What if I was lacking in faith that God would take care of me if I ate the last bite. Perhaps I didn’t believe He would provide after that. Leaving one more bite allows me to believe I am controlling my future. Is this true? Had I been owning this for a long time and hadn’t addressed it?

In Matthew 21:21-22, Jesus states “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (NIV). While I certainly can’t say I had a lot of faith in God in those late teenage years when we hungry and out of food, I can say that the symbolism of the moment did stay with me, unbeknownst. I am sure as an adult, I have forgotten that I can eat the last bite, use the last of something or run something to the very end and that the Lord will provide. In my world, in that area, I have tried to control my future by relying on myself and my resources instead of faith.

I followed this with a prayer of forgiveness for lacking faith and for humility to see this when it creeps into my world periodically.

This made my heart break beyond my small moments of not finishing the last bite or drinking the last once in the glass as it relates to faith. There are people in our lives who are attempting to control certain moments in place of faith. Perhaps it is found in accumulating possessions, filling up schedules or the many faces of fear.

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