Nov 24, 2016

Grateful to be Able to Give Thanks

On your mark! Get set! Go! And we are off…to the forty days or so season of potential feasting and eating way too much food, resulting in added pounds to our already overweight bodies and clothing that will no longer fit.
Yes, I said “too much food”; such a problem to have when so many had too little food. To you who are reading this in a country where starvation is commonplace, I am truly sorry that we who have so much are not more grateful...
I say “potential” because none of us really know what will happen tomorrow. But I know that we are not supposed to worry about what we are going to eat or drink (see Matthew 6:24-34), and therefore I am confidant of the Lord’s provision in my life.
But if this season goes like it has for all of the previous years, we will eat way to much, too fast, without really taking time to enjoy or give thanks.
So what can we do assuming we will go the route of eating and eating and eating and eating and eating…? My suggestion is twofold:
1.) Be more aware of what goes IN to your body. Look before you eat; look, really look, at all of the work that went into the feast you are about to eat. So much effort was put into the breads, meats, salads, beverages, etc. prior to your consumption. Be grateful for eyes that can see…
So much detail was put into the decorations on the cookies and candies prior to you grabbing a handful that goes from your hand to your stomach in ten seconds or less, as your eyes spot another dish that your body craves.
Take time to linger, to salivate, to ponder as you pick it up; don’t just pop it into your mouth.  Slow down and to give thanks! Be grateful for your nose that can smell…
Take time to smell and to feel and to give thanks. Take time to let the beverage or snack or food item roll in your mouth and let it hit the various parts of your tongue that were created to pick up distinctive tastes that are bitter or sweet or savory…
Take time to really enjoy the love that was put into EVERY item that you drink or eat; even if someone picked the item up at 7-11 on the way over to the gathering…
2.) Be more aware of what goes OUT of your body. Yes, I did say; “OUT”. Relax; I am not being crass or vulgar. Jesus Himself, to make a point, said; “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?” (Matthew 15:17)
When I have become more aware of what goes out of me, I have become more aware of several things; all of which have led to me becoming more grateful for what I eat or drink…so bear with me as I expound.
I become more grateful as I realize that my internal organs necessary for digestion are functioning to take food from my mouth and eliminate whatever is not useful even after almost six decades of use.
This includes my mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas…some of which contribute chemicals that aid in the digestion of the food and beverages that I have consumed and process them into nutrients; which the body uses for energy, growth and cell repair needed to survive…and then creates and eliminates what is not useful to my body.  
This includes the urinary tract that filters wastes and extra fluid from the bloodstream and removes them from the body. The ureters, bladder, and urethra move urine from the kidneys and store it until releasing it from the body.
Grateful for what went in and what went out.
Simply put, I have learned to be grateful every time that I void liquids or solids that I am able to eat food and my body works as it was created to work. Grateful that I don’t need a colostomy bag to collect my solid waste or urostomy bags and a catheter to collect my liquids
And grateful that I can do this myself privately and that I don’t need assistance to do so.
And yes, grateful for even the toilet that is private and works properly and for toilet paper available for the task at hand.
So, as you start this season of feasting, stop today and give thanks to the One who made you; no matter what shape or condition you are in…it can always be worse.
Stop and give thanks for how He has provided for you…you have it better than you realize; you really do.
Stop and GIVE THANKS today with a grateful heart for the many blessings He has given to you today.