My father was a Methodist preacher. We prayed before each meal in a family tradition called “asking the blessing.” Dad, Mom, and I held hands, bowed our heads, and Dad uttered these words:
Lord, accept our thanks for these and all our blessings in life. Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and our lives in your service. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
One day was different. It was a Monday and it happened at breakfast.
I guess I was 9 or 10. Mom had stayed at home to take care of me for years, but after I began going to school she worked at various part-time jobs. Occasionally she got a call to be a substitute teacher.
This was one of those days and she was in a hurry. Instead of the usual biscuits and eggs with sausage or bacon she laid before us an unusual treat.
We all sat down, held hands, and bowed our heads without saying anything about it. My father spoke:
Lord accept our thanks for these and all our donuts?
We all laughed. Then Dad began “the blessing” again.
I think this tradition helped make me grateful. Even when things aren’t going well in life, I am grateful for the good I can see in it.
When I was four, my version of the blessing was “Septic tank, septic tank, septic tank. Amen.
We still ask the blessing before meals in my home. I’m grateful for this tradition and I’m grateful for my father. I thank God each day for my life and the many blessings I have received.