great-horned-owl     A first grade class teacher, for the “Natural World” section of her class, had a lesson about owls.  She explained to the class about how they are nocturnal, how they can swivel their heads so far in either direction that it looks like they can turn them completely around, etc. Then she described how the birds swoop down to get their prey for dinner.

     Following the lesson, she asked the children to draw a picture of one of the fascinating things owls do. Looking over the pictures, she praised and applauded each child on their efforts. She was puzzled, however, by one drawing. It was of an owl with its wings neatly folded, its eyes closed and a dead mouse nearby.

     “Exactly what is this showing?” she asked.

     The little girl explained, “It’s just like you said ‘The owl swoops down and prays before dinner’!”

     I’m fairly certain that’s not what owls do, but it certainly should describe what we as Christians do. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote about some who would forbid the eating of certain foods. 

     I Timothy 4:1, 3-4 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith….commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving.”

     We have done a good job of not giving in to those who want us to abstain from food! But have we done a good job of receiving that food with thanksgiving? I’m not asking if we bow in prayer before we eat our meals, although that’s very important. I’m just concerned that we sometimes offer those prayers out of habit, not because we are truly thankful.

     You see, it’s easy for me to think that what I’m about to eat is on my plate because of what I have done — I brought home the paycheck, I went to the grocery store, I cooked it. Am I really thankful to God? By that I mean, do I fully realize and appreciate that God is responsible for what I have on my plate (as well as everything else I enjoy in my life)?

     May you truly be thankful as you pray before dinner this evening. – TFTD

God bless you all and have a great week,

Michael