- What provisions have you worried about lacking during this pandemic? What are you panic-buying, and how are you putting it to use?
- When do you notice your “reptile brain” kicking into high gear? What do you do to reengage your prefrontal cortex?
- How are you practicing generosity these days?
So Much Leaven
Jesus told them, “The realm of heaven is like yeast...” - Matthew 13:33
87% of what Jesus had to say was about choosing how to react to your feelings. Have an enemy you hate? Choose to act lovingly toward them. That sort of thing. In the language of 90s-era pop psychology, it’s about moving our choices from our reptile brains up into our human ones; from brain stem fight-or-flight up to prefrontal cortex complexity.
So I have reminded myself in the grocery store many a time lately. Only taking the one package of butter we need, not an extra just in case. Refusing to stock up beyond the two weeks’ worth of supplies the CDC recommends in case of quarantine.
Then I noticed the store was out of yeast.
Never mind, I thought. I have plenty at home. Still, I double-checked Amazon. None. Same at King Arthur Flour, SAME ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET. Never mind that there is plenty of bread at my local supermarket. My heart started to race.
I began compulsively checking Amazon. When finally a third-party seller had a package of two one-pound bags available, I pounced. Only after the transaction was complete did I remember I had found some food-grade yeast for sale from a laboratory supply shop the day before and ordered a one-pound bag.
I had become a hoarder of leaven.
We all go a little reptile-brained once in a while, especially these days. It’s OK. It’s also never too late to hitch your thinking back up into the ole prefrontal cortex. Which is to say, it’s never too late to act like a Christian. So:
I’m sorry I bought all the yeast. If you need some, just LMK. I’ll mail it to you, free.
Lord, bless and prosper the sourdough starter I made “just in case” while I was panic-buying the yeast. Er, I mean, please make me generous and calm and high-minded. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is a father, husband, homesteader and preacher living in rural upstate New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.