I’m thinking maybe I should quit while I’m ahead.
A little background, if you’ll indulge me: It’s been a struggle on the golf course for your humble correspondent during much of the 2015 season. Thanks in no small part to a balky driver, I’ve seen my scores balloon (and my handicap rise steadily) ever since April.
But in recent days, I seem to have caught lightning in a bottle—helping two different teams earn a measure of honor in a couple of “scramble” events. One team took second place, and the other secured a first-place finish.
I even have some hardware to prove it.
The best thing is, I really did contribute (even with my heretofore cringe-worthy driver) to the team’s success in each event.
Granted, these recent performances may not rank with “manna in the desert” when it comes to receiving a sign of deliverance from the Lord. But as miserable as I’ve been lately…trying to play a game I used to enjoy…it certainly refreshes my spirit to be able to finish a round of golf with my head held high.
And what’s my first instinct?
To quit while I’m ahead.
Not unlike the Israelites, I suppose. The ones who did actually receive bread from heaven, manna in the desert…not long after they’d been released from the bonds of slavery…and has passed through the sea on dry land.
Time and again, God finds ways to show the people that they (we) are beloved.
Isn’t it interesting, though, that these miracles…these everyday deliverances…never seem to satisfy for long? We’re hardwired on some level to expect the worm to turn. Even in moments of joy, doubts creep in. We begin to wonder whether disaster may lurk just around the bend.
And guess what? In Sunday’s other two readings, we learn that we need not fret and worry so. There is yet another gift from God that seals the deal on our deliverance. But this Gift requires something of us, once we learn to live in Christ:
You should put away the old self of your former way of life…and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self…
A new self, whose first instinct is not to quit while he (or she) is ahead, but to carry on in confidence that we will be sustained for the journey:
Jesus said to them, I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy One.