"Moses said to the Israelites: 'Gather as much manna as each of you needs, an omer to a person.' The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less.Moses said to them, 'Let no one leave any manna over until morning.' But they did not listen to Moses; some kept part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul." - Exodus 16:15-20
With all the manna popping up among the desert-wandering Israelites, it was only a matter of time before the hoarding set in. Some took more than they needed while others had less.
But God was one step ahead of them, creating a foodstuff with no shelf life or storage potential. That way, the people would depend on God each day and there would be enough for everyone.
Our next move was to invent things like refrigerators and electronic banking to preserve and protect our manna.
And storage units.
According to the Self-storage Association of America, our country boasts 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage space and growing. That's more than enough space for every person in the United States to stand, all at once, under the combined canopy of storage roofing.
Although we have innumerable ways to stockpile our manna, we can't stop the decay to the body and soul of humanity. We live in a wilderness created by our own hungry dash for easy dough, energized and justified by a Darwinist "survival of the financially fittest" ethic. That's why 10% of the world now controls almost 90% of the wealth. Click here for a telling graphic on how the manna is divvied up today.
We have yet to learn the lessons of our ancestors in the desert: Trust God every day; take only what you need; God has provided enough for all.
There is still time, and space, to make it happen.
God, I have more than my share. Grant me the courage to unburden my life, the grace to renew my soul and the faith to advocate for your vision of shalom.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.