My thoughts (Jeff Miner):
Today’s reading tells two thought-provoking stories. The point of the first, it seems to me, is that spiritual people have the power to transform poisonous situations. That’s worth meditating on. Am I the kind of person God can count on to turn a poisonous situation good?
But the second story is even more meaningful to me. There, Elisha performs his version of Jesus’ miracle of multiplying the fishes and loaves — except in Elisha’s case the menu is barley bread and ears of grain, and instead of needing to feed thousands (as was Jesus’ challenge), Elisha only has to feed one hundred. Still, though, the problem is the same — far too little to go around.
Being a “Type A” personality, I feel like I face Elisha’s challenge all the time. There are a million things to do, and never enough time to do them. As a result, I can fall into the trap of constant frustration. If only there were more hours in the day!
Not long ago, I read an article in the magazine Christianity Today written by F. B. Meyer (Vol. 33, No. 9) that really spoke to me. The title of the article was “Just Enough Time Is Left.” Meyer’s words felt like God’s words to me. Read them slowly to yourself; let them sink in:
Do not be in too great a hurry. There is time for everything that has to be done. The One who gave you your life-work has given you just enough time to do it in. The length of life’s candle is measured out according to the length of your required tasks. You must take necessary time for meditation, for sleep, for food, for enjoyment of human love and friendship; and even then there will be time enough left for your necessary duties. . . . ‘He/she who believeth shall not make haste.’
It’s that last sentence that really gets me: “He/she who believeth shall not make haste.”
I don’t read these words as absolute command, but rather as principle. In fact, sometimes hurrying cannot be avoided, due to a firm deadline. But I think it’s possible for us to hurry on the outside while being unhurried on the inside. It’s more a frame of mind we’re striving for. Regardless how much chaos exists in my external circumstances, am I still calmly centered within my soul?
In recent weeks, each time I find myself anxious about “too much to do, not enough time,” I stop and say, “Jeff, there’s just enough time left.” And each time I confess that, I discover it to be true — just like Elisha’s disciples in today’s Bible story.
Thought for the day: Whether we’re talking about food, or time, or money, or whatever, despite all appearances to the contrary, there is enough! So relax and act like it!
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.