God moves in strange ways.
Many years ago, I was interviewing a young woman who had just graduated from college. The school in which I worked had an opening for a teacher of religion and she was very interested in the position. She was clearly bright and articulate. Nevertheless I wanted to know if she not only knew her subject but whether she was able to see it from different angles. So I asked her to comment on the connections between the Exodus story and the account of the death and Resurrection of Jesus. After a long pause she explained she had no idea. I liked her honesty, and she became a very successful teacher at the school.
During the next couple of years the question continued to pique her curiosity. Eventually she moved on to do graduate work and we lost touch. Years passed and I heard she had pursued a doctorate in religion. Imagine my surprise when I received a letter telling me that her thesis was a response to the question she had been unable to answer.
A question intended only to evaluate her academic capabilities became for her a lifelong quest for truth.
Thankfully my narrow test of her professional expertise could not deflect God’s purpose for her future.
Nest Sunday’s gospel speaks of recognizing true nourishment when we find it. Jesus is warning us that wisdom and truth, pleasure and satisfaction cannot be found in material possessions but only in relationship with our Father in heaven. We are called to seek and prepare rather than acquire and seize.
God took a question I was using to test and placed it in a young and graceful heart seeking the bread of life.
She has become rich in her relationship with God because she has chosen to prepare, to pursue the questions rather consume that which cannot provide the life she seeks.
I are reminded there are many roads we can choose to travel, but
true life can come only by the grace of God,
which enables us to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God through him.”
The Rev. Susan N. Eaves