“Don’t cry over spilt milk.” –Every mother who ever dealt with a bawling baby
I don’t know about you, but I like to be appreciated. A pat on the back for a job well done every once in a while, yeah, it feels good. I’ve never been able to understand how people could expect others to go on tirelessly giving of themselves with nothing to show for it. I don’t think God thinks ingratitude is right.
There are hundreds of places in Scripture where we are taught to praise God for the things he provides in our lives: food, homes, families, safety, abundance, wisdom, mercy, jobs, cars, educations, vacations, promotions, motorcycles…the list could go on and on.
We are thankful, Lord, so thankful for Your blessings!
If God thinks gratitude and praise are worthwhile expenditures of our time, shouldn’t we think it, too? We should, but we get bogged down in all those other things that happen in this world and forget to praise.
Example: Today, I traveled through the drive-in at a local burger joint on my way to work, when the gal working the window handed me my medium-sized HOT coffee with the lid not completely buttoned down. I grabbed the cup, and hot liquid ran over my palm, across my wrist, down my arm and all over my vest and the inside of the car door.
At this juncture, I may, or may not have said a word that I’m not wont to use in public places.
In my defense, the coffee was hot!
In a moment of time—and I mean a split second of time–I decided to let go of that hot cup. Then I said the word (or didn’t say it–you decide what you’d have done and go from there), before dropping the cup on the pavement below. Did I mention it was hot?!!
The response of the young woman working the window this morning was to apologize, then ask the guy in back of her, “Can you finish up with this order?” He didn’t. Wouldn’t. Wasn’t willing, but that’s his story and I won’t tell it further. What I will say is that other than the word I said (or didn’t say, you decide), I said nothing.
I was burned.
I was angry.
I had already said (or not said), a word I don’t usually say, and I didn’t want to go further down that verbal rabbit hole. I remained silent, but I don’t think that helped the girl. She apologized again, while I cleaned up what I could of the mess that had been made when hot, hot, HOT coffee slid down my side.
After she apologized yet again, the girl poured me another hot cup of coffee. I didn’t think she was going to replace the first one for a moment, and her buddy was not helping, but finally she did. I don’t know how long it took for this injury and accident to transpire, but it seemed like a long, long time when I was going through it.
As I drove away from the burger joint, still angry, still burning (literally burning), all sorts of retribution went through my head:
I should stop and go in there and give her a piece of my mind, I thought.
I should go on-line when I get to work and get the phone number for the place and call and talk to the manager, and report her.
I should suggest they stop hiring school girls to do adult work.
I should make sure there is a paper trail for this, for when I must have a doctor bill paid.
Disclaimer: I was not mortally wounded in this attack of the coffee hotties, I was just miffed and frustrated that it happened to me and now my vest was covered with coffee stains and my wrist and hand were burning!
All of those things I thought to do…yeah, I didn’t do any of them. Instead, I made a conscious decision to extend grace. I thanked God that the burn was not worse. I thanked Him profusely for the fact that HOT coffee did not land in my lap, but only on my hand/arm. I prayed that I hadn’t ruined that girl’s day with my sour silence and that word that I may or may not have hissed when the black brew came spewing at me.
I bring in this topic of spilt coffee in a praise post to make the point that if we make our minds up to it, we can always, always, ALWAYS find something to be thankful for; always! And when we are thankful that things didn’t go worse for us, that we didn’t get hurt worse than we did, that we’re still alive and vital, and happily pursuing lives that are filled—hear me, FILLED–with blessings and purpose, then I think we ought to turn that thankfulness into recognition and praise.
I wasn’t thankful that some young gal spilled coffee all over me this morning, and I didn’t thank her for it, but maybe I should have. Maybe she saved me from a fatal car crash down the road by delaying me with a minor burn. Maybe she learned a valuable lesson, so that no one else will get burned by her again. Maybe that someone else who would have been burned was a baby, an infant, newly present in this world. I’m so thankful a baby didn’t get burned with hot coffee this morning.
I might have failed at gratitude and recognition in the moment when hot coffee was spilled on me this morning, but only moments later God reminded me that although something difficult and hurtful had happened to me today, I had the choice to remain thankful.
He teaches me so much, every day I walk with Him.
Today, if you happen upon someone who’s done a good job, or made life easier for you or someone you love, or has not spilled hot coffee on you, would you tell them how thankful you are for their service? Isn’t that love? Isn’t that gratitude? Isn’t that us following in Jesus’ footsteps? And if someone has spilled hot coffee on you, be grateful it wasn’t worse. It could always be worse. Trust me, I know.
We need to be grateful and be alert to those moments when we can be thankful. They are everywhere, for those who have eyes to see.
I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love; I praise him for all he has done for us. He has richly blessed the people of Israel because of his mercy and constant love. Isaiah 63:7
Praise the Lord who has given his people peace, as he promised he would. 1 Kings 8:56
Praise the Lord, all people on earth, praise his glory and might. (1 Chronicles 16:28)
God is wise and powerful! Praise him forever and ever. (Daniel 2:20)
Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! He rescues the oppressed from the power of evil people. (Jeremiah 20:13)
Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son! (Ephesians 1:5)