Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Hoarding cold pizza and trusting in God

Let me tell you something about middle schoolers that I’ve learned over the years.

They hoard food.

In every parish I’ve worked in or visited — no matter how well I know the kitchens are stocked in their homes — middle schoolers will stuff their pockets with cookies, chips and cans of coke before, during and after youth group. I’ve decided it’s because as sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grad­ers, they’re being given the opportu­nity to pick out what they’ll eat and drink for the first time.

Until this point, they’ve always chosen their food under adult su­pervision. However, at youth group we’re giving them a taste of freedom — literally and figuratively — and they must find it exhilarating to both choose what they want for now and have the freedom to prepare for the unknown future.

I now give strict rules for middle school dinners like, “you must finish the first five slices of pizza on your plate before taking more” and “drinks must be consumed AT youth group, not taken home and stowed away in your room for this week­end’s sleepover”. It gets zooey when we take students to events where the organizers, wishing to show hospitality, don’t regulate what students take from the snack table. At a recent retreat, I caught kids stowing plates of cookies in between the bleachers for later, and one especially resourceful girl rolling up slices of pizza and stash­ing them in an empty chip bag she placed in her backpack.

“What is that for?” I asked her.

“I might get hungry later.”

I made a mental note to check the car seats very carefully after the kids were dropped off.

It’s easy for me to chuckle at the way kids act because I have the schedule for the day. I know that they’ll have plenty to eat, and I know that they don’t need to stash crack­ers in their pockets — we’ll give them everything they need (and most of what they want).

And yet, how many times must God look at me the way I look at these kiddos? I can talk for days about trusting God, but when the time comes for me to put it in prac­tice, it’s scary. Trusting God with the deeply personal matters of family, finances and the future can leave me feeling like the kids hoard­ing pizza — I want to stay in control, who knows what could happen?

For example, just a few days ago, I had to enter some new banking information in our online tithing profile. When the time came to enter how much we would give each month, I panicked. “What if something hap­pens? What if we need this? What if there’s a shoe sale I’m now unpre­pared for?” (I know. I’m very pious.)

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you… plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future full of hope” (Jer 29:11). The words of the prophet Jeremiah resonate in these moments. God knows what I need, and His plans are better for me than anything I could imagine.

There’s no need to hoard cold pizza.






  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate