Do you say grace at your meals? Neither do I. Hmm, are we just ungrateful critters or what?!
Not to fast batman!
Saying grace doesn’t mean you actually FEEL grateful. Conversely, you don’t have to say grace to feel grateful.
Which brings us to gratitude.
Like love, gratitude is a word we throw around freely. But, like love, gratitude is not a “thing” you get to buy or sell. It is something you must give freely. Gratitude is priceless—and yet entirely FREE. What’s the catch?
You gotta feel it in your system!
So more important than saying grace at your meals is whether you feel grateful for the food you eat everyday.
Even if it’s junk food that’s devoid of real nutrition?
Even if it’s soulless fast food that masquerades as real food?
Even if it’s a factory-farmed turkey at thanksgiving? (Most of the supermarket turkeys have been bread for breasts so large that they can’t, well, you know, do it. They have to be artificially inseminated.)
Yes! Even factory-farmed turkeys deserve your thanks.
Why practice gratitude for your food?
Because it’s a smart thing to do.
Don’t practice gratitude because it’s the proper thing to do. Don’t do it out of guilt either.
Do it because you’re smart. Do it because it’s the easiest way to get more intimate with your daily grub and cultivate a real relationship with food.
What’s the opposite of gratitude? Apathy. Gratification is a close second.
Gratification serves your small self. Gratitude serves your highest self. The first is devoid of grace; the second is nothing but grace. Take your pick.
But wait, there’s more. When you find it in you to be grateful for your food (even if it’s the fake kind), you’re far more likely to attract real food.
Easiest way to practice gratitude?
Being present is easy when you taste your food. Not just the first couple of bites, but every bite… until it’s gone. Why stop with taste. Let your other senses join the party: smell, touch, sight, sound.
Which is impossible if you’re not present to your food, if the TV is blaring or the conversation too loud.
So no need to say grace. No need to give thanks. No need to get all spiritual and uptight. All you gotta do to practice gratitude is be present. That’s it!
Should You Forget About Saying Grace Then?
Not at all. While saying grace is no guarantee that you’ll actually feel grateful, it still serves as a powerful reminder.
Which brings us to thanksgiving day.
Even if you don’t say grace at your daily meals, why not do it once a year at thanksgiving? Even if thanksgiving has been reduced to our national day of gluttony, it still remains a day of gratitude and blessings.
Here’s a lovely prayer to inspire grace on this day… and everyday.
by Luther B. Cross
Our Father, fill our hearts, we pray,
With gratitude Thanksgiving Day;
For food and raiment Thou dost give,
That we in comfort here may live.With bread of life our spirits feed
And grant to us the grace we need,
Guide Thou our feet lest they should stray
From paths of righteousness away.
True service may we render Thee
In love and deep humility;
Deliver us from every sin,
In His dear name we ask. Amen.
Image Credit: geekarmy.com