Thursday, December 20, 2007

let's not forget

I was at the grocery store recently, with my cart piled high with food for Christmas, and the woman behind me couldn’t stop complaining. “Is this line ever going to move?” she grumbled, ignoring the toothy grin of baby b. in the cart ahead of her. “Any day now!” she called out, loud enough for all around to hear.

I wanted to say something.

The World Health Organization estimates that one in twelve people in the world are malnourished, including 160 million children under the age of five.

I don’t bring this up to be a downer or put a guilt trip on the well-fed of the world. I bring it up because many of us need to be reminded that waiting in line to buy groceries is a blessing. I don’t like shopping either, and I don’t know anyone who likes to wait, but seriously, folks––in a world where 160 million little kids are hungry, what does God think of our grocery store line complaints?

We were at Old Navy a few months ago, buying new winter gear for our three boys. Nothing fancy, just warm coats and hats and gloves, a few pairs of blue jeans, a couple of sweatshirts. I don’t mind buying these things; on the contrary, I enjoy buying my children the things they need.

On the way out, the noisy boys asked for a new ball. “No, guys, not today,” I told them, “we have plenty of balls.”
“You never buy us anything!” Twin B. stomped.
“Yeah,” Twin A. joined in. “You never buy us anything!”

Um. Excuse me? I just spent some $287 on little boy coats and gloves and jeans. And I was happy to do it. But the ungratefulness in the hearts of my boys disturbed me.

“Be grateful,” I told them, “that we can walk into a store and buy the things we need.”

I imagine that God is happy to give us the things we need.

In this season of abundance, let’s not forget to say thank you. Even if we have to wait in a long line.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful reminder. Thanks.

Llama Momma said...

Thanks for stopping by, SP. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

mommanator said...

Well said Momma- the ingratefulness of one of the world's most wealthy country folk worries me too.
From a bible study I am doing we are the new Babylon!

MamaToo said...

Beautiful, and honest. What an important "supply" you give to your children: an example of gratitude and generosity.

Llama Momma said...

mommanator -- thanks for stopping by and commenting. I don't believe there's anything wrong with being wealthy, not in and of itself. But the ungratefulness...that's another story.

mamatoo -- thank you for your kind encouragement. When I see the ugly ungratefulness bubble up in my children, I wonder where I've gone wrong and what more I can do. In the end, I am on my knees praying for God Himself to give them a sense of gratefulness.

Craver Vii said...

Convicting. Do I sometimes take the same attitude towards my heavenly Father?

Christy said...

Wonderful post. I worry about this same thing with my children (and those that I teach too). We are so blessed that I fear we will simply stop seeing the blessings. We adopted a little girl (Dezy) in Africa to pray for and send money to for food and medical supplies. We pray for her, but I knew that since the money was autodrafted from my bank account and they didn't have to earn it, that my girls didn't really understand what it was to sacrafice for another. Now we eat rice one night a week and that meal money goes towards Dezy. It's not much, but I pray it teaches them a small lesson in being thankful for even the food on their table.

(and sorry for writing a book in your comment section. I LOVE your blog).

Llama Momma said...

craver -- If I'm honest, the answer for me is yes. I do.

christy -- no need to apologize for long comments. I love comments.

I'm glad you stopped by! I love your example of sacrificing in order to give. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful reminder. We are sooo blessed. And, in the twins' defense, it is soo hard for children to understand "thankful" for the blessings that they've always had! But, if you keep reminding them they'll get it eventually. Repetition is a serious parenting tool!

Merry Christmas!


Linda said...

I agree. Just today I was at the grocery store, and I marvelled at the amount and variety of dog food we have available, even food to make them more healthy, less fat ... and there are babies starving today. It turns my stomach. Nothing against dogs, everyone knows I love my little one. But she's a dog, not a person. And since I visited a Third World nation, I've never been the same.