Monday, August 13, 2012

Dinner Time "Whinies"

"And there was a great famine in Samaria.  And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five shekels of silver."   - 2 Kings 6

While I'm glad my children have never had to face famine of any kind, I have to admit there are some dinners where I wish they had.  I don't know, I haven't had to face famine, but when I see David's brow furrow in stubbornness, Teya's nose wrinkle up and hear them both cry out in unison, "Gross, this looks disgusting" something in me goes pop.  I want to show them what the rest of the world deals with.  It also doesn't help that Melissa has typically slaved away at making something not only healthy - why it looks gross btw - but also yummy, which is something they won't know until they shut their little ungrateful traps and taste it, dang it.

There are times where I've thought about getting behind David using my super-speed, slamming his whining jaw shut like a pro gator-wrestler, and tilting his head back so he has to swallow.   Then I could even hold is jaw shut under my chin and pose for pictures.  But alas, I don't have the wrestling skills.

But their incessant complaining, grumbling and complaining in the presence of any sort of dinner other than burgers, fries or pizza, reminds me of my own limited ability to keep my trap shut in times of any sort of dissatisfaction.  Really, missing my morning coffee seems to be enough to set my whole day off on another track.  Those close to me may call it the "track to hell for everyone else".

This whole grumbling thing has got to be one of the major problems with the human race.  I say this so I can tie in some sort of meaningful thought, but also so I can implicate everyone and feel a bit better about myself.  We are an ungrateful people.  We want so much and we want it our way, in our way, done our way, for our way's sake already!  We're pretty weird like that.

So weird in fact that when it comes to faith, we Christians, or at least me, have a hard time remaining grateful when I've been given everything and more than I could possibly want or ever even dream of having.  Eternal life for crying out loud!  A kingdom come!  New life now and real purpose!  God with me!  Jesus pleading my case!  The Holy Spirit praying for me!  Perfection before God!  Belonging!  Radical love and acceptance!

And...  I look at my plate full of these spiritual realities, tilt my head back, roll my eyes into the back of my head and moan like a zombie, "Gross!  God I wanted McDonald's!"

So I trade my spiritual food for worldly trifles, or at least food that makes the FDA squirm - that's really bad food. (How in the world do they approve of McDonalds?)

But here's the good thing about all this.  For every moan there's a father smiling and patiently saying, "Eat your vegetables Son."  He's not thinking about gator-wrestling, or ringing our ungrateful little throats, or pushing us out of our high-chairs, or taking the back of our head and shoving our face into our plate of peas.  He's patient from the get-go, and then he's even more patient with us as we are ungrateful and we grumble.

So imagine what life would look like if we began to practice gratitude (once again, for gratitude I highly recommend Anne Voskamp's book 1000 Gifts).  Imagine if we feebly prodded at the promises and disciplines on our plate.  If we, rather than complained, looked our father in the face and attempted to smile as we ate our asparagus of Bible reading and meditation.  Imagine the pleasure we could bring him.

After all, life is not about our pleasure, but God's.  The more I can wrap my whiny little head around that one, the better I'll be, and happier I bet.