From Our Pastor

From Our Pastor

 

It was another cool, peaceful fall evening. It was a Thursday evening. I know it was Thursday because that’s the day my Mom always went to the grocery store. Every Thursday evening, after her long work day, she would head over to the A&P in Gastonia and gather supplies to feed her four “hangry” boys and my Dad. She always allowed me to come along because she knew her six-year-old loved to go places with her.

I did love to shop and “hang out” with my Mom, but I had an ulterior motive when it came to the A&P store.   They sold the small boxes of Animal Crackers! You know the ones. In the box that looked like a train car. I loved them. Not just the cookie inside but I loved to cut apart the box and create another train car for my collection. I had a line of train cars that would put Norfork-Southern to shame!

At the end of each trip to the A&P, my Mom would always go back to the cookie aisle. And if I had “acted like I was somebody,” she would get me a box of Animal Crackers. Oh, how I looked forward to Thursday nights, after dinner! I would very quickly eat everything I was required to eat on my plate and then run to the cabinet to get my Animal Crackers.

On one specific Thursday evening after dinner, I went to the cabinet and discovered that my Animal Crackers were not there. I asked Mom where she put my Animal Crackers and she said, “Oh they were out of Animal Crackers at the store. So, I got you a different box of crackers that’s even bigger.”

I tried to hide my disappointment, but I just couldn’t do it. No Animal Crackers? A bigger box? What about the train? But it’s Thursday night! And I was good at the store! I was supposed to get my Animal Crackers!

After my “melt-down” and several justifiable minutes I was forced to spend alone in my room, my Mom came in to talk to me. “You have everything you could ever need,” she said. “More food than you could possibly eat. More toys than you could possibly enjoy. A family that loves you. A safe home and warm bed. You have all of this, but you still want more? When are you going to learn to just be thankful?”

Wow, that got my attention! We are blessed beyond our wildest dreams. We have a million reasons to give thanks. But we focus on our wants instead of our blessings. Our needs aren’t the problem. God has provided all our needs according to His riches. It’s our wants that cause the problem. This level of ingratitude and unwillingness to be content with our blessings is at the heart of our disobedience and sinfulness against God. It is the original sin!

Adam and Eve had it all! Plenty of food. A cool, safe garden to share. But they wanted more. They were going to have their Animal Crackers! Imagine what the world would be like if they had chosen to just be thankful!

My Mom was right. When are we going to learn to just be thankful? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Imagine what our lives could be like if we chose to just be thankful?