Let’s take some time to just say thank you for all the good
Thank You! Have you ever given that phrase much thought? I bet you probably have, since we all have so much to be thankful for.
Today, I would like to narrow this down to a simple “thank you Lord, for our food” phrase that was at one time heavily used, maybe more so in the south and especially the folks that lived in the country. That’s rural America.
Now before you get your drawers in a wad because you grew up in a different situation such as a northern city, I realize that there are people everywhere that paused before a meal just to tell our Lord thank you for the food, but in today’s fast paced life, this little act of thankfulness seems to be one that is less common than it was at one time, though I do see random instances where someone at a table in a restaurant will bow their head and say the blessing for their group. I expect that a show of thanksgiving goes plumb back to the caveman days.
According to an author I once read, before the cave people started to fill their tummies with whatever repast had slowed down enough to get caught and become a nutritious meal for the tribe, an elder would get quiet and say, “Ooga umbah!” In the Caveman language, that meant “thank you.”
Well, it could have happened that a way. None the less, a lot of families are just too busy to take the time to say a prayer of thanksgiving at mealtime. Years ago, my cousin Bobby was with all of our family at a gathering at Mama and Papa Hops. Papa asked Bobby if he would say grace. Now keep in mind that Papa Hops father was a Baptist preacher and Mama Hops father was a Methodist minister, this is a family that is active in church and prays often, especially at mealtime.
So, Papa Hop asks Bobby to say grace before a meal. Bobby, who is just a big kid, bows his head and said, “Grace!” Well, that brought a chuckle to some, but his mother’s look compelled him to quickly mend his ways and properly bless the food for that meal. Without a doubt, when Bobby’s Mom and Dad got him home, disciplinary action was taken. And I am sure he became quiet adept at giving future prayers. Thankfully, our family is one that says thank you Lord for the food, and I hope yours is too.
I think it is important to follow our Lord’s lead in saying thank you for that which we are about to receive. In Colossians 3:17 we find, “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.” The Bible gives us many examples where Jesus said, “Thank you for this food.”
A Stranger’s Hand
We was mostly gangly kids, with jeans an’ boots an’ tattered lids,
We’d hired on to make the drive,
Just a motely group of green hands, molded to meet life’s demands,
With God’s help we would survive.
We thought we knew about life’s way, up to task to draw puncher’s pay,
We’d heard them old timer’s yarns,
Yessir, we thought we knew it all, just bustin’ broncs with panther’s squall,
We’d take the bull by the horns,
So, we’ll make our mark in this west, strike out an’ meet every test,
Face the world in every way,
That’s how it is in a young’un’s world, as life’s wrinkles are unfurled,
Then you hear your Mama say.
Be the best in what you do, but keep your goal within view,
You were raised to know what’s right,
Meet each task in your worldly race, knowing you are blessed with God’s Grace,
Let the Lord help you in life’s fight
But this one thing you must do, never forget to say thank you,
Just like you’ve always been taught,
Be careful to keep that in mind, life gets busy, you’ll fall behind,
Blessings at meals will be forgot!
Now a stranger rode into camp, said he’d seen the lighted lamp,
He had need of a meal and bed,
So, Cousie set out another plate, did not hesitate,
‘Cuz any drifter would get fed.
Now this feller ambled up, took his plate and a cup,
Like he was supposed to do,
Then he stopped along the way, bowed his head as if to pray,
To the Lord, he said, “Thank You.”
Well, the old hands stopped and bowed, set example for this crowd,
Especially for us young hands,
We’er mostly fresh from Mama’s gate, an’ prayin’ we could relate,
That met one of her demands.
You see, when we rode away from home, our thoughts were but to roam,
Out towards the mountain blue,
But we could hear our Mama’s word, so our memories were stirred,
Of course, we all knew what to do.
Life often hands us a chance, to cowboy-up an’ take a stance,
Because we know right from wrong,
It’s just that sometimes we forget, an’ maybe we need a reset,
So, in life’s ways we are strong!
Yes, we joined that stranger there, bowed our heads and said a prayer,
Made us all feel pretty good,
Come daylight the stranger rode away, he’d reminded us to pray,
A lesson we understood.
© Ol’ Jim Cathey
Don’t forget to be thankful!
God Bless you and God Bless America!