This past week our family went out to dinner at a local steakhouse chain. You know the one that has free peanuts and two-steppin’ servers and plays country music’s top 40 and embarrasses birthday folk by making them sit on a big saddle! YEE-HAA! Yes, that’s the one! I love this restaurant! Kevin, one of the cooks, can make me the most perfect “Pittsburgh seared medium” ribeye EVER! It’s so good it could make you cry! YUMMY! As is our habit, we all quietly held hands and prayed before we ate. We thanked God and asked Him to bless the food, the servers and cooks and clean-up crew, our lives and those whose stomachs are empty while ours are full! That evening our prayer did not go unnoticed like they usually do…
Our waiter, a handsome young man, probably on summer break from college, noticed. “Ma’am, I saw that your family prayed before dinner”. I nodded affirmatively. “Well, I just have to tell you that I don’t see that very much anymore, and I’m glad to see a family still praying together before meals. My family does that too, so I notice these thing”. When he left the table I looked around. “We live in LANCASTER COUNTY for heaven’s sake! It is not just the bible belt of the north… it’s the belt buckle”, I thought! “We probably live in the most Christian area in the northern United States. I’m surprised that there is not a hymn sing in the parking lot after dinner”!
Taking a nonconspicuous and nonjudgmental mental tally of all the people eating at that restaurant confirmed what our young waiter said. No one seemed to be praying. I really had never noticed before! Now, maybe there were lots of people praying… silently and meaningfully, I can’t say. But, as far as I could see it looked like everyone was diggin’ right in to their loaded baked potatoes and prime rib!
If this is true, it breaks my heart! Have we, as a nation, forgotten where our blessing come from? Or do we just take them for granted and forget to thank THE SOURCE from which all blessings flow?
This has bothered me all week! Our nation, our county, our area, our town, our neighborhood, our home, our family has been richly and lavishly blessed! God has poured his mercy, grace, blessing, love and salvation all over us! His blessing truck literally follows us around dumping blessings all over us! Do we notice? Are we thankful? Do we even care?
Are we like those teenage kids who feel entitled? You know the ones who’s parents feel unappreciated and unloved? Is this how my heavenly Father feels?
The bible says…
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS CONCERNING YOU. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Here’s what I think often happens, for I speak from experience. Sometimes we get so busy in the business of life that we just don’t see the blessings around us and if we don’t see them, how can we be thankful for them?
Just think where we would be without air or water or gravity? How many sleepless nights do we spend worrying that the sun won’t rise or a giant asteroid will come crashing down on us and destroy the earth? Most of us don’t think or worry about such things. We take them for granted! Here’s the good news, we don’t have to worry about those things. Jesus has them in HIS control and has given us promises in His word about them.
Here’s what I say to you and ME and everyone who is reading this… WAKE UP! LOOK AROUND! YOU ARE BLESSED! NOTICE IT AND ACKNOWLEDGE IT! And not just at mealtime. All day, every day! I think we would all be more positive and grateful if we did that! GIVE THANKS IN EVERYTHING!
Oh gosh, I’m getting a little dizzy up here on my soapbox… I will get down now!
Let’s be “the glass is half full” type of people because God has overflowed our glass with His Living Water! Take a minute right now… even before you finish this post to thank God for something! Ask God to make Himself so big in your life that you notice all of His blessing for you… and be thankful!