A commitment to blog every week seems easy when you make it. Knock out 400-500 words about something, funny or serious, that my six or seven followers might enjoy reading. But when I wait until Friday morning, and get up late, and my wife says we need to go grocery shopping, and it’s now past noon. it can be a bit of a challenge.
After nearly eight decades of life here on earth, looking back starts to feel like reading a history book. We realize, my wife and I, that some of our experiences would make our grandchildren go, “Wow! Really?” not because those things were so extraordinary, but because they are so different from today’s realities.
I remember feeling that way when my grandparents talked about the depression, or food rationing during World War II. In my book, I relate the routine experience as a kid of going to the local grocery store:
“Often, Mom would send me to the grocery store about four blocks away. The usual list would include a loaf of bread, sliced ham for sandwiches, and a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes.”
Our granddaughter Elizabeth, who edited the book for me, wrote a note, “You bought cigarettes?!” questioning how a child could legally do that. It was simple, I just told the grocer, “They’re for my Mom.” Nothing extraordinary, just different.
Another common event was the arrival in our neighborhood of various deliverymen:
“During the summer, the iceman would come, delivering ice to those who did not yet have an electric refrigerator. We kids would gather at the back of his wagon, and he’d chip off a chunk of ice for each of us, a cool delight in the heat of August.”
Excerpts From: Robert Frohlich. “Aimless Life, Awesome God.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/aimless-life-awesome-god/id1129891739
At the grocery store today, my wife and I took separate carts, (new rule), and split the list. She picks up the fresh stuff and I get the dry goods and dairy. We meet up at the checkout. Every time we go shopping like that, I’m filled with gratitude. The abundance and quality and variety of the food in all these store is amazing. Even with the pandemic-caused shortages there’s just so much to choose from (although there were some anxious moments several weeks ago about the absence of King Arthur flour).
So today, I’m choosing to be grateful for a lifetime of gracious provision from the hand of my loving and gracious God. Sure, there have been times of want and struggle and sadness, but always my heavenly Father was present, providing for me, carrying me and protecting me. It’s a good practice, every day, to find something to be grateful for. And then to give thanks to God from whom are all things.
In the third chapter of Habakkuk, the prophet makes a list of appalling demonstrations of God’s wrath. But then he lifts his eyes to heaven and says:
“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (ESV)