Leaving the the Leaven

A Reflection on a Reading from Exodus from the Fifteenth Saturday in Ordinary Time


A few years ago I came across the line “Sometimes delayed obedience is disobedience.”  It always sounded like a nice phrase to me, a little catchy quote to offer when I don’t know what other advice to give, but it never had much teeth.  I casually assumed that delayed obedience becoming disobedience was someone else’s problem, much like the way we assume bad stuff happens to someone else until it finally happens to us.

Reading Exodus today, this idea of delayed obedience as disobedience was brought to the fore.  I was forced to confront how quickly we have to act sometimes in obedience to what the Lord is trying to do in our lives.  The Israelites had to flee Egypt in such haste that they couldn’t even make new dough that was leavened, and so they were left with unleavened bread.  This can seem like an inconsequential detail, but I think their willingness to surrender what might have been the ideal, leavened bread, for whatever they had at the time God called them to act, unleavened bread, is a tremendous lesson for us.

Too often, God puts something on my heart and then I demand the ideal circumstances to pursue it.  The root of it is both a confusion between what I want vs what I need and a lack of trust that God will provide.  Today, as you go to prayer, I invite you to take the convictions and callings you’ve experienced lately and measure them against the Israelites haste.

Are you waiting for the stars to align before you respond or are you willing to set out with unleavened bread and more importantly — trust?

– Spencer Hargadon


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