I’m a Happy, Happy, Happy Meal

Last weekend Dennis and I were part of a songwriters’ retreat. On Friday morning we were given an assignment – to quietly, individually read a very familiar story and then to answer a few questions that would lead back to the group discussion on spiritual disciplines. Here’s the story we were to read from Luke 9: 12-17. The story happens when Jesus and His disciples were up around the Sea of Galilee and His teaching had started to draw a crowd.

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.” 

He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.)

But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

Loaves fishes Okay, it was the familiar story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. I knew the story, but read it again several times for this assignment. I got the point I was supposed to get, but another revelation came to me later. When Jesus multiplied this meager lunch to feed the thousands (with leftovers no less) He didn’t transform the ordinary fare – the Blue Plate Special –  into a gourmet meal. And He didn’t add anything to the menu either. No appetizer, no side dishes, no dessert, and no cool toy inside that would entertain the children. The miracle was that He multiplied one ordinary Galilean meal to be enough to satisfy thousands!

I often struggle with maintaining a healthy self image – as I’m sure most of us do from time to time. I wonder why God didn’t make me tall and skinny like that model, or give me the intellect of that guy, or let me enjoy the successes of that writer. I argue, “I just want to be useful, to make a difference, leave a mark – but with my average gifts that will never happen.” (It’s a noble argument, but a lie.) The story of the loaves and fishes reminded me that I am what I am. I have all that I was created to have. I should not worry about what I’m not, but celebrate what I am. Then I can hand it over to Him who created me and let Him multiply that. And that’ll be enough – and then some.


3 thoughts on “I’m a Happy, Happy, Happy Meal

  1. Linda

    Very inspirational. It is often easier to wish for what we don’t have than to be thankful for and use what we do have. Thanks, Nan!


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