God Speaks Burrito

I’ve discovered that I’m motivated by food and money.

I come from a long line of eaters. Whenever I spend time with any of my family, the main form of recreation is eating. We’re not big on activities that involve much of anything else.

Going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do. But I don’t do it very often. It costs money. The fact that I don’t eat out often makes it all the more special. If someone actually takes me out to eat, that is, pays for my meal, to me that’s an indication that they care for me. The fact that they are willing to spend money for my benefit is a meaningful expression. And their company along with the meal means that we share something more than just food (or money). We share our time. We share our stories.

Money is like food, in that we all gotta have it. And some have more than others.

Money is important to me because I’m solely responsible for my financial well-being. So like eating out, I don’t spend money very often. I mean I don’t spend money on anything other than the bills and other necessities to live. And what I consider necessities are generally less than what most other people think they have to have. So when I spend money for something “unnecessary”, it’s a significant decision and act for me. Even treating myself to Taco Bueno is special!

God speaks my language. He speaks to me with food and money.

Sometimes I find money, cash even, when I’m in financial stress. During one time of unemployment, I found a five dollar bill in my front yard when I went out to go to church on Sunday. The five bucks meant that I could go to lunch with the singles group that day.

Back in June 2010, right after I first learned that my contract renewal (set to expire in July) would likely be even more problematic than previous times, I found three dollar bills in the ladies room at work. The folded bills had obviously fallen out of someone’s pocket or purse. My first impulse was to post a lost-and-found note on the mirror as people often do. But then I decided that perhaps the $3 was “put there” for me, it was meant as a sign to me. God would provide as always.

On one of my “can walks” last December (recall the Macy’s bag lady post), I was almost back home when I noticed what looked like a bill in the grass. It was in someone’s yard but relatively near the curb. I debated about picking it up. Chances are the wind would blow it elsewhere and if it had belonged to the homeowner, they would never see it again. If it had been lost by one of the neighborhood children/youth who traipse the street to the convenience store, and if they realized it, would they have any idea where to return to find it?

To further rationalize, I’d say it was almost technically lying in the public easement and thus fair game, but I still hesitated to breach someone’s yard. Then, I decided this small token, this too, was meant for me. Whether it was meant as a sign or not, I chose to see it that way, not to justify my taking it, but as another reminder of God’s care. It was just a buck, but it had great value to me.

Last week was a bit of a downer. Nothing catastrophic, but several things occurred that upset or depressed me, things related to work and money. Early this week, I was still trying to pull out of it, and I allowed myself to visit Taco Bueno for lunch one day between (necessary) errands. (Note the import of eating out and spending money!) After getting my food, I noticed a wrapped, unopened burrito on a nearby table. No tray, nothing else on the table. At first I thought it was trash. Then I thought someone must have just gone to the salsa bar and would be back to eat or retrieve it.

Finally I realized that for whatever reason, the person had left it there for someone else to take and eat. While your mother might tell you that it’s dangerous to eat food when you don’t know where it’s been, I was pretty confident in knowing where this came from. God had provided me food for the next day and I accepted the gift. The fact that it was one of my favorite menu items—a bean burrito—how can you not understand the message in that?

God speaks my language, rich in well-timed inflection.

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    • Deborah Wacker
    • April 1st, 2011

    I so agree with the eating out — especially when someone else pays for it — I agree with your sentiment… HMMMM How long has it been??

    • Gail T
    • March 30th, 2011

    Paula, send me an email, I think I need to take you out for lunch! How about a belated birthday lunch?

      • Paula Robertson
      • April 1st, 2011

      That would be great, Gail. Lunch and time with friends is what I’m talkin about!
      But you do understand also my point that I’m always looking to take my penny-pinching penchant to new heights, right? 😉

    • Steve
    • March 30th, 2011

    One time I went into a Taco Bell to get a burrito and the place was robbed while I was in it waiting for the aforementioned burrito. Fortunately all they got from me was $7 and and a couple of credit cards which I was able to cancel before too much damage was done.

    I think that was God’s way of telling me to lay off the burritos. 😉

      • Paula Robertson
      • April 1st, 2011

      I remember!
      Lay off the burritos, or maybe the message was go to Taco Bueno instead?

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