By Jessica Connor
In my house, we take turns praying before meals. I keep it pretty simple. My 6-year-old daughter likes to do original, interpretive dance prayers that usually include butterflies, singing and getting up from the dinner table.
My son Cameron, 8, prefers the standard “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food” prayer, except when he does it, he always changes it to “let us thank Him for His food.” The first few times I bit my tongue about correcting him, not wanting to discourage my shy boy from feeling comfortable leading family prayer, my mind automatically changing the “His” to “our.” Then one night my ever-bold daughter rolled her eyes and sighed, exasperation in every word. “Cameronnnnnnn, it’s not His food, it’s our food.”
Cameron blinked and shook his head.
“No, Avery,” he said, “it’s His food. I mean, duh. He made everything.”
Out of the mouths of babes.
My kids teach me so much about the world every day. And sometimes, it takes small moments like that to smack me on the head and make me realize the so-called truths we cling to can often be terribly, sadly wrong. We think things belong to us because society says so: No, you can’t have that, it’s “my” pencil, my sandwich, my money, my house, my car, my child.
But in fact none of it really belongs to us at all. When we join that holy family of Christians, when we acknowledge that God is king and He alone reigns supreme, we need to understand that everything in the Kingdom is His domain. And as we grow in our faith, we ultimately learn to let go of the control we think we have over our lives, and surrender to God’s master plan. Eventually, as seasoned Christians, we come to realize that we aren’t entitled to any of the things we possess; we’re just using them. While society might tell us we earned that house, car, steak or designer dress because we worked hard and paid our taxes, we know deep down that we are blessed to even get the opportunity to walk around on this lonely little planet, to breathe, to have creature-comforts. Even that child we birthed came into existence because God willed it so—we might say that’s “my” child, but really that’s God’s child who I am so very, very lucky He entrusted me to birth and raise.
Surrendering to His ultimate control might seem difficult on the surface, but it’s pretty easy. Just understand He is everything, He made everything, and every precious moment we have on this planet is a gift from the heavenly Father who loves us so much.
Let us thank Him for His food. Amen.