November 9th –
54. Bike rides
56. Happy kids playing in piles of leaves
57. Tennis rackets
“On my way home after a hectic day in the business world, they caught my attention! Three very young preschoolers were sitting on the porch of an obviously older home in a very modest neighborhood, playing and singing at the top of their voices, “Old MacDonald Had A Farm!”
Two members of this charming trio had little toy guitars which were near perfect replicas of the real thing. But it was the third little fellow who intrigued me most. He was playing and singing with every bit as much enthusiasm and enjoyment as the other two as he strummed across the strings of a tennis racket!
Now everyone knows that the normal reaction of most three-or four-year-olds (or even thirty- or forty-year-olds) in circumstances similar to those just described would be to throw a tantrum until he got a guitar as good as the others had. Or he might go off in a corner to cry and to sulk, refusing to join in the fun because he didn’t have everything his peers enjoyed.
To me this happy little boy personified the very essence of one of the most missing ingredients in our affluent society. Perhaps there is nothing more grievous to the loving heart of God then when He looks in vain for the quality of contentment and gratitude in the hearts of those upon whom He has lavished His blessings.
Most of us would find it most difficult to spend even five minutes in prayer if we eliminate from our prayers such petitions as “give”, “bless”, or “help”. Our prayers are lopsided with asking because we have never learned to pray with thanksgiving. Does this not reveal how ungrateful we are?
Ingratitude is one of the sins most prevalent among professing Christians. Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that it is not a sin. The Word Of God commands us to be thankful, to be content, to praise, and even pray with thanksgiving. To disregard these divine imperatives constitutes disobedience which can be termed nothing less than sin.
Cultivating desires which can never be quite satisfied or which demand equality of success, recognition, or possessions which others may enjoy is a sure way of ensuring a life of perpetual discontent. It further ensures that there will never be enough resources to be able to share with God or others. What a miserable way of life we create for ourselves when we choose to live by such ideals!
Thank you, little one, for the wonderful lesson you taught today.
I may be one of those who must strum a tennis racket. (To me that may mean driving a car that has already passed it’s tenth anniversary; living in an older and less modern home than some enjoy; or making last year’s wardrobe do for another year or two or three or four. It may mean I’ll never own a boat or a trailer or travel abroad to see this big, wonderful world.)
But by the grace of God, strumming a tennis racket while other play guitars will never quench the song of thanksgiving in my heart nor silence the expression of praise on my lips.
“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall maker her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Ps. 34:1-3).
– Eva J. Cummings