LeftOvers #2

Posted: December 27, 2007 in Of Spiritual Things
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(This is the second of a many part Blog and part of the message I am giving Dec. 30th at Pleasant Valley Church in Winona, MN and thoughts for a book I would love to write. If you want to check this blog often, click on the RSS feed link on the very bottom of this page, then this site will be put in your “feeds” drop down in your explorer bar or favorites. Hope you can figure it out.)

      Leftovers, where ever you find them in your life, make a huge statement about the life that you live.  If, like our family Christmas celebration, there are an abundant of leftovers in every dish it is a definite sign that we have more than enough in other areas of our lives too. Leftovers make a statement, “We are not living in abject poverty, we have enough to feed ourselves and leftovers for later.”  The remains of every meal at my home is quickly put into a container and tossed into the marvelous cooling invention of the early 1900s, the Fridge, not be mistaken for The Fridge.  We often have a leftover shmorgasbord for dinner replacing the exquisite meals Kristine usually makes.

      If you have just sat down to a Christmas meal with your neighbors and the vittles on the table are spread out in front of you and your mouth is watering like a puppy of Pavlov’s and you look around and notice that there might not be enough, you may think to yourself that you should take smaller portions to start with and maybe seconds if there is some leftover. If the plates are scraped clean and the turkey bones are cleaned off and everyone is looking for more, this may indicate that you really don’t have enough in other areas of life also. Maybe you are living in poverty. Where there are no leftovers there are needs. 

     Often in America the opposite can be regrettably true. There can be lots of leftovers, in fact there can be more leftovers than can be used. If any amount of food is thrown away after a meal you have way too much. I have a friend who refuses to eat leftovers, he hates them. He also complains about not having enough money at times.  Honestly he has too much money and no matter how much he complains about not having enough, as long as he is throwing leftovers out he will always have to much money. It would be amazing to find out how much food the affluent throw away that could feed the poverty stricken. Dueteronomy 24:19 is all about leaving the leftovers behind for the poor.

     Leftover Cuisine

     My favorite leftover meal is lasagna, in fact Kristine will make more on purpose because it is so good on the second day. Mashed potatoes also score high on the list, not as leftover mashed potatoes but fried potato patties, hmmm.  Some times I just put a bunch of random stuff on a plate and toss it into the microwave for a quick, “Can you Guess What This Is?” dinner. Having a fridge is truly a blessing when it comes to preserving leftovers, although the fridge can be a curse too. I remember my dad would get pretty peeved whenever he would find a container of food in the depths of the fridge that was taking on a life form of its own. He didn’t have much in his fridge growing up so that kind of waste just wasn’t acceptable. Some leftover food needs to be heated up in the oven to keep it a touch crispy. Microwaved pizza gets soggy.

      Isn’t it interesting that God gave the Israelites Manna to eat, but told them not to have any leftovers. They were to get just the right amount, if they saved it over night until morning it was full of maggots. I’ll bet it only took one time to figure that out. Exodus 16 tells that story.  It seems God could have been trying to teach them to be content with what they have and to trust God to bring more the next day.  There was always enough and never too much. A time with no leftovers. They were only thinking about their stomachs at the time God provided the manna, but there is so much more to leftovers than food. There is also belonging, finances and spiritual, all of which the Israelites had just the right amount of throughout the forty years they roamed in the sands of the middle east.

Can it be that the right amount of leftovers in each of these four areas are always provided…no need and no waste?  That exploration will be next.

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