Thankfully Rich

29 11 2015

Today I have two stories, one about me and one I recently read.

Here’s the first.Rock _n

There was a time when I was quite young my mom and I lived in a small upstairs apartment in a town where we hardly knew anyone. One day there was a knock at the door and when mom answered it there stood a well dressed man that she had spoken to on occasion while walking home from work. He was inviting us to join him and his family for Thanksgiving dinner the next evening. Something told me my mother would have preferred to decline the offer but because of the persistence of the man she finally agreed we would come. That day before we went to the man’s home mom made me take a bath and put on my best clothes which I found strange but said nothing. Arriving at the home the man met us at the door and proceeded to escort us through a living room area bigger than our whole apartment. We then found ourselves in the dining room, a very elegant area where some 10 people were already seated around the biggest table I had ever seen in my life. When we took our designated seats the gentleman introduced us to his family and friends, then some small talk was made mostly questioning what mom did for a living. It was now time for dinner and two ladies dressed in black and white uniforms brought out something I had never seen before, I think they called it salad. I ate as well as I could but a small child and salads has never really been a good combination. Next were the entrees and I had never seen such fancy food in my life. Grabbing a spoon I was ready to dig in but a woman who sat next to me applied my first education on proper dining etiquette; wasn’t pretty! I ended up with half my food either on my clothes or on the floor. The man who invited us was doing his best to be nice, but it seemed like everyone else ignored mom and me as best they could. Dessert came in a tall tapered glass filled with cherries and some other things that I took one look at and thought “Am I going to have use a folk on this thing too?!” It wasn’t long before mom who was feeling just as out of place as I was found a reason to get us out of there.

Years later I realized what was going on; this kind gentleman, like others I’ve now met, make a habit if inviting a poor family to come dine with him and his family at Thanksgiving. This is a kind and noble gesture and I’ve thought often if every family in the country who could afford it invited another family to dinner just once a year I believe there would be a lot fewer children going to bed hungry. But as nice a gesture as it was it lacked one important element; there was little if any heart felt friendliness to it. Without sounding unappreciative, we were never really made to feel welcome.

Walking quickly down the sidewalk mom went right past our apartment and into an establishment commonly referred to back then as a “Greasy Spoon,” where I had the most delicious cheeseburger this side of paradise. There was music from a jukebox in the corner, and a couple of people that mom worked with that she shared some laughs and coffee as I ate. What a difference in atmosphere, the main ingredients added to this situation: joy and smiles. When we finally got back to the apartment I said to mom, “That sure was a pretty house we were in.” She pulled me onto her lap, held me close and said “Yes it was. But there’s something we have that they don’t–happiness.”

And here’s story two.

One day the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the county with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from the trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great dad!”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.

“So tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” the father asked.

The son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they have four.”

“We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have stars at night.”

“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have a whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight.”

“We have servants to serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, but they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks dad for showing me how poor we are.”

My point today is not to give the impression that the more you have the less happy you are. The main theme of what I’m trying to get across is this:

1: Be thankful for whatever you have, be it much or little. Trust me, there’s always someone with less than you have.

2: Never look down on someone for being poor.

3: Never look down on someone for being well off.

4: Remember, no matter who you are or what you possess we’re all “Travelers of the Rock Road.” The question then becomes how are you traveling it, happily or otherwise, alone or with others, hoarding, or sharing and caring?

5: This is similar to 1. Be thankful for whatever you have; besides it’s all on loan from God anyway.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 107:1 – Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!

Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

During this holiday season may our Lord deeply enrich you with the important things–Grace, Mercy, but especially true Thankfulness.

See ya next time.


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2 responses

30 11 2015
Beverly Crane

Another wonderful story. I enjoy each and every one of these articles. Thank you for sharing them.

Sent from my iPad

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30 11 2015
rockroad

You’re very kind. Thank you so much.

John

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