Today’s reflection is adapted from my book, Everyday Epiphanies. There are essentially two attitudes toward putting the groceries away: Attitude A and Attitude B.
A: I hate carrying groceries into the house. These bags weigh a ton. Those check-out clerks always put too many things in a bag. And I have to walk up 6 steps to get into the house. What a pain!
B: How lucky I am to have these bags filled with food to carry into the house. And while I’m at it, how lucky am I to have a house!
A: Now I have to sort everything. What goes into the freezer downstairs… What goes into the pantry up here… What goes into the refrigerator… what goes into this cupboard, what goes into that cupboard… It takes so long! I hate this job!
B: Just look at all the different places I have available to store all this food. Wow! How lucky I am!
A: Humpf! The price of lettuce went up again.
B: Thank you, God, for giving me fresh lettuce this week! I’m amazed at all the food that is grown locally during the summer months—watermelon, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli. I’m grateful for the farmers who grow these things and for the people who harvest them.
A: I hate this freezer! It’s so small, I can hardly fit all this meat and all these vegetables into it!
B: How fortunate I am to own a freezer when most of the world’s people have never even seen a freezer—let alone own one!
A: That stupid store was out of strawberry frozen yogurt, so I had to settle for peach.
B: I’m amazed at all the flavors of ice-cream and frozen yogurt we have to choose from these days. There are so many, it’s hard to know which one to pick! I’m grateful for the many choices I have in life.
A: I can’t believe that clerk charged me for four cans of tomato soup when I bought only three. What an injustice!
B: So the clerk charged me for a can of soup I didn’t buy. I’ll go to the service desk next week and get that can of soup I already paid for. What kind of an injustice is that compared to the kind that deprives millions of people of basic food—including even soup?
A: There! I’m finally finished putting all those groceries away. I hate this job. I’m glad it’s over with!
B: There! I’m finished putting all the groceries away—except for this one bag of canned goods. I’ll take that to church on Sunday for our parish food pantry. I thank you, God, for all the food I have in my house—and for all my other blessings too. Make me always mindful of those who have little or no food. Help me to find ways to help feed them. Amen.
What’s your attitude when you put the groceries away? Or when you do grocery shopping? Or when you clean your house, work out in the yard, cook supper, do the dishes, make the beds, drive someone to soccer practice or to the doctor’s?
Do you see the blessings that are inherent in your work and your chores? Do you see the blessings in inconveniences? Is there something in your life you’re taking for granted—like clean air, clean water, clean sheets?
God’s greatest gift to us is, of course, Jesus. Here’s a song that celebrates this great gift. It’s called “Give Thanks” and is sung by Janella Salvador. This song was the official song of the Papal visit to the United States in 2015:
Is there something in today’s reflection that you’d like to comment on or respond to or add?