Trail Notes

Trail Notes: 7/26/2015

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‘The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord,* and you give them their food in due season. You open wide your hand,* and satisfy the needs of every living creature’ Psalm 145:16-17

These words have long been in my memory since the first days I attended summer camp in the Diocese of Fond du Lac. Every meal at camp began with the call and response of these two verses - between the person offering the thanksgiving for our meal and the campers and staff. This was a tradition I had to learn my first year at camp, and thankfully my priest shared this tradition with me before I attended my first session. Much like how we learn many things in our tradition - I learned it by listening and repeating - not by reading it first.

This passage also fills my head with images of the last couple of weeks in Ecuador. Helping a family de-kernel dried corn for grinding, watching women prepare mounds of food for our team in a kitchen no bigger than St. Dunstan’s parish hall closet, and seeing beggars on the streets selling anything to get money for food.

Even in the worst times of my life, I have never truly been hungry or lacked in putting food on the table. My mother, a child of the depression, never had an empty pantry. And as one of her children - I not only learned to cook simple meals from staples - but also never have an empty pantry. I’m sure many of us can relate to full cupboards. Most in the U.S. live in a place of abundance when we compare ourselves to the rest of the world; where many live on just $1 a day. Yet, we seem to have an insatiable need for more, better, bigger, and who can be first.

How do we change this? I think it is by trying to live into a place of gratitude - not of what we have done - but by understanding that everything that we have - our livelihood, our abilities and our abundance - is a gift from God. If we truly believe that all we possess is God’s then we can be more generous in what we give away.

As those of old their first fruits brought of vineyard, flock, and field
to God, the giver of all good,  the source of bounteous yield;
so we today our first fruits bring, the wealth of this good land,
of farm and market, shop and home, of mind, and heart, and hand.
 
A world in need now summons us to labor, love, and give;
to make our life an offering to God that all may live;
the Church of Christ is calling us to make the dream come true:
a world redeemed by Christ-like love; all life in Christ made new.
 
With gratitude and humble trust we bring our best to thee
to serve thy cause and share thy love with all humanity.
O thou who gavest us thyself in Jesus Christ thy Son,
help us to give ourselves each day until life’s work is done.

 

The Hymnal 1982 #705
Words: Frank von Christierson ©1961 The Hymn Society of America
All rights reserved, reprinted under OneLicense.net #A-712267

Sue von Rautenkranz

 





 

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