"Nana, I'm Hungry!"
February 20, 2018
“Nana – I’m hungry!”
Almost every morning I’m greeted by these three words, as my daughter and grandson stop at the house on their way to dropping him off at school. My answer is always the same, “come on in….what would you like”? Sometimes his answer is quick and he knows exactly what it is he wants, other times it leaves him contemplating his choices.
Recently I’ve found myself with that same feeling, “I’m hungry”, but not sure either what it was I wanted. I took this to my Spiritual Director. I shared with her some of the heaviness of heart I had been feeling, the worry, the tasks I needed to complete and the opportunities I had to share the love of God and those I had missed as well. I indicated to her of the need for a better grasp of balance and boundaries. After a few moments of silence she very astutely asked, “What will you allow yourself to do today?” This question stopped me. I knew I could answer what I need to do today and even what I might want to do today, but I hadn’t thought of what I would allow myself to do today?
Now when I come back to my grandson and his “Nana I’m Hungry”, statement it seems simple. I offer him choices to which he responds “yes, no – I don’t know – or I don’t like that”.
I realize that it’s like that with me too. At times I can’t name my own hungers either. And as the desires, or the resentments of my heart rise up within me, could this be God, the source of all things. offering me a platter of options from which to choose from or get rid of? My Spiritual Director so wisely pointed out to me that when we become overwhelmed by life sometimes, lines become blurred and we have trouble discerning our needs and our wants.
So that simple question from this very wise woman “What will you allow yourself to do today?” helped me to discern what it was I might need to settle my appetite of unrest….permission. Yes, maybe it was permission I was hungry for. When you look up the word permission it states: authorization granted to do something; the act of permitting. So to what and from whom did I need permission?
Sometimes I want permission to stop during the day for a cup of tea. Permission to take a nap. To knit – to create something. Permission to stop comparing. Permission to visit with someone, permission to “lighten up”, to quit being so serious. As I pondered my list, I realized that I have the opportunity to grant myself permission.
So how should I go about discerning what it is I need permission for? First I need to be aware; aware of the hungers within me those that are physical, emotional and spiritual. Second I need to state to God as my grandson did to me “God, I’m hungry” and then wait. And last, I need to be alert and open to God’s response and then receive in gratitude that which God extends. God does not only come to us with a platter of options but a buffet of bounty!
I am grateful for the simple and yet profound ways in which God is revealed to me. So now if you’ll excuse me, the whistle on the teapot is signaling “Tea Time”.
Permission granted to settle into this moment.