There’s a moment in time when you kind of remember that God owns the world, and that you don’t have to worry about having enough of anything, of anything you might need, because, when you’re running after Him, or at least starting to jog, building up endurance to continue the run, there’s nothing keeping Him from giving you everything you need, all of the world and all the wonders it might offer. The reason why it makes sense for Him to do this is because, when you’re consumed by the marathon and by the desire to run with Him, though He suffers not from fatigue, dehydration, malnutrition, or breathlessness, you’re so focused on Him and focused on what He wants and His will for your life that everything concerning the rest of the world, from your needs to your wants to everything in between, kind of just fades away and becomes strangely dim.
And it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.
Last Sunday, while I was at Sam and Maria’s house having dinner with them and Jenny, they suggested I send Jacob a care package before he headed off to Korea. After much convincing and assurances, and after praying and thinking, I decided it would be a wonderful thing to do 🙂 After all, I send things to people all over the place. Why not to Jacob?
This morning I woke up and my brain was pushing against my skull, doing some weird thing where its more than a headache but less than a migraine in addition to some strange, uncomfortable thing going on in my temples and the back of my neck. My body also refused to cooperate as far as moving even slightly, and I realized I wouldn’t physically be able to bike to the West Village…it sounds pathetic, but I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to carry my backpack on my back.
I talked to God about it, figuring I needed to catch up on some things for school and continue working on my mid-term paper for World Civ. (because I more than likely won’t have much time to work on it next week). After praying and making a decision, all while lying down and moving very little, I emailed my boss and told him I wouldn’t be in today. He emailed me back, telling me to feel better and to get my homework done.
I slept for a while longer before getting up, still feeling weak and pained in my head (physically, though I wouldn’t put it past me to be pained in the head mentally on some days either 😛 ). I spent two hours just talking to God, talking to Him about what needed to be done, about the day, about what I was thinking, about what He was thinking, about what was going to happen, and then about how it didn’t matter, because He was there.
I ate breakfast, wrote letters to both of my grandmothers, got dressed, mailed the letters, and, feeling a little better, went out to buy the rest of the ingredients for baking with Jenny as well as a few other things for the care package for Jacob.
As I walked along Myrtle Ave., looking in the stores for different things but finding nothing. That’s when a woman stopped me in front of a cafe. She pointed to the cafe and asked for me to buy her food because she was hungry. And I did the normal New Yorker thing and said I didn’t have anything, though it pained me and I was torn.
But God was not satisfied with that.
As I walked away and thought about the little bit of money sitting a the bottom of my purse, the money I’d been saving to buy things for Jacob’s care package, I thought about how God created the world, how He had possession of everything and could certainly provide for me and for the thing I was trying to do. The Holy Spirit yanked the strings of my heart, reminding me of the passage in Matthew that read “For I (Christ) was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (v. 35). And lastly, I thought about what Jacob would think if I’d shirked an opportunity to love someone in the name of sending him a box of things that would perish within a week.
I went inside one store and then came back out, going back in the direction of the woman. She was still standing there. I touched her shoulder and handed her some money, enough to buy a meal, and I hugged her, giving in to the Holy Spirit and trying not to cry. She seemed to be trying not to cry either while she thanked me. And as I walked away, I didn’t fear not having enough, or not being able to do what I was trying to do. I knew God was there, I knew that He’d seen what’d happened between me and the woman, and I knew that, should He not provide, it was worth it.
When I got back to campus, I went to the convenience store located on the first floor of one of the dormitories. Students could use their meal points there. I had just, earlier in the day, received an email encouraging me to spend more meal points because my balance was much higher than expected. In other words “you can splurge, poor college student, please eat food.” I wondered, as I walked into the store, if I couldn’t buy the ingredients I needed there.
Turns out the store carried every ingredient I needed save baking powder, as well as Tupperware to contain the cookies and brownies and aluminum foil to keep the sweets from sticking together, all without putting any kind of dent in my funds for food for the rest of the semester. This meant I had plenty of money to buy the final thing for the care package as well as ship the box to Jacob.
After this, I went back to the dorm, gathered up my study things, and headed to the cafeteria, grabbing dinner and working on the revision of my story for Studio. After dinner, I dropped off my study things and got ready to go run for a while. But after the run, I realized it was an incredibly STUPID thing to do, considering how exhausted I was this morning. Needless to say I followed the run with a long nap (this was only after heading to the library to work on homework some more, only to find out it had closed two hours earlier…there needs to be a library that’s eternally open, forever, for people like me who spend their Friday nights reading books about the history of cinnamon and the British industrial revolution).
I woke from my nap when my iPod yelled at me with a skype call from my mother. She was home alone, watching the movie version of Jane Austen’s Emma. It was nice to talk to her about things, in general 🙂 She told me some things that reminded me how effective and powerful the prayers of a righteous person are (James 5:16).
Later on in the night I realized that God can move me wherever He wants. Realistically, though I might have an idea of how things are going to play out, nothing, for me, is certain. God knows exactly what’s going to happen, where I’m going to be, what people I’m going to be with, what I’m going to be doing…but nothing has been revealed to me. I have no idea. Being here at Pratt is still because of Him. His the one who sent me here, and for me to think my plans are set in stone is very foolish. Not that God doesn’t consider my plans, but He’s just so much more knowledgeable of what’s best for me and what’s going to grow me closer to Him that it’s rather pointless and stubborn to insist on my own way. So, should He keep me here, should He send me somewhere else, should He keep me in the writing industry, should He not use my writing degree at all, should He have me continue in school, should He have me stop after getting my BFA, I will believe, I will trust, that it’s what’s best. I can’t say I’ll understand it or even be able to have any kind of sensible perspective, but I will say that God does know what He’s doing, even though I don’t.
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” —Proverbs 31:25-26