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|July 06, 2015
After the Manner of HappinessA Muffin-Sized Answer to Prayer
by Janae Stubbs
I was awfully hungry.
You know — the kind of hunger that hardens in your stomach and pulls at your limbs, making them twice as heavy as they should be. The kind of hunger that makes your brain feel fuzzy and leaves you, more or less, a walking low-blood-sugar zombie.
I was that kind of hungry, and I still had at least four hours left on campus. These four hours required my brain to function extremely well, and at the moment that seemed impossible. Evening classes and study groups can be marvelous, but not when you leave your wallet (and sole means of purchasing food) at home.
It also helps to have actual money in the wallet, which I didn’t. Payday was later that week and so was my planned grocery run. I knew I was doomed.
As I considered my fate, a memory of one of my first roommates played in my mind.
That girl knew what faith was, and she knew how to fully utilize the power of prayer. When she came upon rough financial times, she prayed for help to receive some needed things and in the next few days found a new t-shirt, was given a brand new pair of shoes, and had a complete stranger offer to buy lunch for her while she stood in line for a job application.
Those are what I consider results, which is probably why her experience stuck out so much in my memory.
If she could pray, I could pray. But what exactly should I say? I usually only thought to pray about long-term needs, "righteous desires," and emotional or spiritual help; not immediate, physical needs. Those seemed a bit too obvious to pray for.
Other phrases floated through my mind, like, “after all we can do,” and “study first, then ask.” It isn’t as though I had a hunger management plan that I was proposing. I had no other thought than to mention that I was uncomfortably hungry. Isn’t that complaining? Murmuring?
Then a little thought nudged me. Why wouldn’t God want me to tell Him how I feel?
Suddenly it felt like the most natural thing in the world to pray and tell God that I was hungry. So I did. And thinking of my exemplary roommate, I asked that — if possible — I might not feel so hungry while I still had schoolwork to do.
The logical answer to this prayer was that the burden I’d mentioned would be made lighter and I simply wouldn't feel as hungry anymore. How many times had that been a silent prayer on fast Sunday? Seemed reasonable. That must be how God would answer my prayer.
I decided to take a different exit on the way to my next class. Why not? I was certain that my burden was going to be made lighter, and I might as well act like it by doing some campus sightseeing. And truly, college life has not been lived to the fullest until you’ve used all possible doors to enter and exit a building.
Winding my way down through the science building, I passed the food science wing. I’d walked briskly through this particular hallway before, but never paid attention to anything. It was fun to read the research posters and see what types of pictures, comics, and quotes they had taped to their doors.
And then I saw a sign too large to ignore, hanging on an A-frame in the center of the hallway. It read "Taste Panel," with an arrow pointing into an unassuming office. Taste panel, huh? Tasting things was very much on my mind, and this seemed too good to be true.
I poked my head through the door-jamb, not unlike a mouse hopeful for cheese but always alert for signs of sudden death. A woman sitting at a desk smiled at me as I pulled the rest of myself through.
"Um, can I ask about this taste panel thing?"
"Sure," she said, "just fill out this form and I'll have you go in. It's good today."
"So I'm… really tasting stuff?"
"Yeah. You'll answer questions about the food and it should only take about fifteen minutes.”
“What is this place?”
I filled out the form and walked through yet another door into a long, thin room with cubicles lining the right wall. Sitting down in a chair I got a good look at my cubicle while my stomach made unladylike noises.
Unlike the boring study spaces in the library, this cubicle had accessories, the most noticeable being a mounted monitor and a sizeable rectangular opening directly underneath it. The space behind the opening was lit and I realized it opened into another room.
Sounds started coming from the room beyond, and suddenly in the rectangular opening there appeared a plastic tray. And then, quick as you please, two muffins materialized on the tray, which was then slid unceremoniously through the opening and into my cubicle. My inner mouse reemerged and I looked around, again wondering if this was too good to be true.
These were not standard, little, twelve-to-the-pan sized muffins. These were absolutely enormous. These could have eaten regular muffins for breakfast and still been hungry. And they smelled incredible. If my stomach was misbehaving with digestive noises earlier, then at this point it was downright monstrous.
The screen flashed with instructions, and my inner mouse and I spent a delightful fifteen minutes eating two giant apple cinnamon muffins and answering questions. Which one was more moist? Which one had better spices? Which one had the nicer texture? To me, both were absolutely perfect and I'll never, ever taste a more divine apple cinnamon muffin in my life. I was full before I could finish them both.
As I walked back into the office, the cheerful lady held out three dollar bills to me. "Thank you for your time!"
"Wait, this is… for me?"
She chuckled a bit. "Yep. Have a great day. Thanks for stopping in."
"No problem..." and I walked out, feeling a bit dazed. Had that actually happened? Yes, it had. The money was still in my hand and my stomach was contentedly quiet. I wasn't hungry anymore. And I now had three whole dollars to spend on even more food.
My next prayer, full of gratitude, was more humble than the first. In my earlier prayer I hadn’t even mentioned the payday issue.
I felt like God was trying to tell me, "See? I have no limitations. I can do anything. Nothing escapes my notice, even what you don't tell me, so you should mention it all anyway. And by the way, thank you for giving me a chance to prove that I can open the windows of heaven and pour out more blessings than you can receive.”
|Copyright © 2024 by Janae Stubbs
|Printed from NauvooTimes.com