Do you ever stop long enough to hear yourself speak? Recently, I’ve caught myself listening to the words coming out of my mouth. As we were hosting a guest last week, I found myself at a nice restaurant placing my order. As I ordered a steak, the question that followed was “How would you like it cooked?“ My response? “Medium rare plus, please.”
From that point, the gracious waiter described the slight variation in color of the meat depending on your preferred preparation. As he went around the table, I found that I was in good company.
“Can you leave this off?”
“Can I have extra dressing… on the side?”
If you’ve heard of first-world problems, I think this is in the category of half-world problems. And this phenomenon isn’t just for the steak house. Check out the Chick-fil-A app or the options when you next order your favorite soda or coffee and you’ll realize we’re a society filled with picky people. Do you like your drink with no ice, little ice, or regular? Is that almond milk? Organic? Soy milk? Nonfat? You get my point.
I must admit, my specific order is just the way I like it. But there’s something about the pickiness that bothers me. What happened to being grateful and satisfied? It isn’t just our children who are spoiled; we’re modeling it to the next generation. I don’t think I’m the only one who’s been disappointed when someone gives me a gift and it wasn’t exactly the one I wanted. Seriously? What is wrong with us?
I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer but it actually goes a step further. As I thought about this from a biblical perspective, I started looking at passages about giving thanks. At least 90% of the verses that deal with being thankful have the Lord as the recipient of their gratitude. To simply convince ourselves that we’ll smile no matter what food is put before us (or what misguided gift we receive) is merely putting a band-aid on a symptom.
If you call yourself a Christian, it’s time to decide if you’re going to proactively, genuinely express gratitude to the Lord. Not falsely or superficially because it’s the good, Christian way to act… but because you’re aware that God’s protection has been upon you and that in both the highs and lows – and everything in between –you and I serve a good God who leads us and guides us every moment of every day.
As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, may we take Paul’s words to heart… not just for the holidays, but for a lifetime:
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.