FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

1 Corinthians 1:25-30

For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

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I struggle with the mindset that I am in control of my life and able to address the normal issues and incidents that are typical in every day East Cobb. Hopefully, I am not alone among my friends and fellow parishioners in this understanding. But if we pay attention there are many opportunities to realize that this mindset is not true, we are woefully equipped to control our lives. God is the one in control, and human traits cannot match his wisdom and strength.

Such an opportunity became apparent to me several weeks ago. I have been involved with the Hope for the Hungry ministry most of the months since this outreach program started early last year. St. Peter & St. Paul hosts this ministry on the first Tuesday of every month. It allows those in need in the area to be welcomed, lovingly counseled and then given a box of food containing non-perishable food items. Surprisingly the response in East Cobb has been significant and continuous. There are many neighbors who are unemployed, or underemployed, or going through a divorce, or who are sick that need help. Just seeing the flow of people in need makes all the volunteers realize how fortunate and blessed we are day to day.

The opportunity to learn came on the Hope for the Hungry Tuesday, several weeks ago. I was working in the trailer that contained the boxes of food. It is large and brightly painted with the words “Hope for the Hungry”. When new folks arrive, they often walk over to the trailer, assuming they will be handed the box of food. The trailer volunteers are used to that assumption and direct them inside for registration and the counseling session. I saw a young black man approach the trailer that day, so let him know to go inside and that someone would register him then talk for a while. It would probably take twenty- five or thirty minutes of his time. Then he could come back out to the trailer for his box of food. It was busy that day, but I happened to be the one that delivered the box to his car when he was finished about half an hour later. I smiled, showed him the box, and asked about his experience. He smiled back and said the loving talk about God and his faith was
much more important than the box of food. The spirit he felt would last longer than the food.

I realized he had turned his life over to God, surrendered his ego, accepted help, not trying to always be in control. It was a valuable lesson for me. I was able to share this experience with the Men’s Thursday Morning Bible study class. That young man gave back more than we gave him due to the humility and gladness he shared. So, I will spend this Lenten season with the objective to let God’s will direct my life and not pretend that I am in control of my world. Thanks be to God.

-Chuck Matheson