Recipe for a Grateful Heart

Columnist Debut: Food for thought on Thanksgiving Day

My ability in writing books is not matched by my ability to read a cookbook. My wife and three daughters will attest to that. Except for popping corn and blending chocolate milkshakes, most of my efforts in the kitchen taste like mistakes.

But, don’t be too quick to label me as a liability when it comes to preparing for the family Thanksgiving feast. In the five decades of life in which I’ve had the opportunity to digest my share of what the Lord has served up in my life, I’ve discovered a fail-proof recipe for a grateful heart.

First, crush a bunch of sour grapes for all the times you’ve felt someone else got credit for something you deserved. Drizzle in a drop of spilled milk for every remembrance you have of something you wish you could undo (no need to cry over it). Even though you may be tempted to, refrain from adding the “whine” you keep in the cellar for those pity parties you occasionally throw for yourself.

To this rather unattractive concoction, sift in some flavorful thoughts that come to mind of times when God was kind and bailed you out. You know the times I mean: when you were in real hot water and had real doubts if you could stand up to the heat.

Then, while this mixture is sitting at room temperature, take some “thyme” alone and thoroughly measure out your blessings. Make sure you add in the plain vanilla ones (like health, shelter, employment, family, enough to eat and a good night’s sleep).

Don’t forget to spoon up some sweet remembrances of happy days gone by. With your honey at your side, go to a quiet part of the house and pour out what’s on your mind. If necessary, ask for forgiveness.

While bringing the ingredients to a boil, combine a cup full of contentment, all the while skimming off any envy or greed that surfaces. Blend well.

Let the aforementioned batter rise until it occupies a place of prominence in your thinking. Preheat your heart to the point where it takes on a pliable consistency. While your will is warming to the idea of thanking God (instead of blaming him) for where you are at this time in your life, sprinkle the mixture in question with a dash of determination to do whatever it takes to honor God with your attitude.

Then bake the combined ingredients until they are well done. While it is still warm, serve yourself the “peace” you’ve anticipated, all the while chewing on God’s goodness while swallowing your pride.

Well, there you have it. Even though you haven’t seen this recipe demonstrated on the Food Network, it’s a keeper. A grateful heart is guaranteed.

You don’t need to be a Galloping Gourmet in order to serve up an aroma that will be pleasing to the Lord. All that is required is that you dismount from your high horse of self-centeredness and sit in the presence of the One from whom all blessings flow. As Israel’s greatest king is credited with having said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)