I Am Ungrateful
This is Day 10 of my 40 day Lenten Blog.
"[The Lord] is kind to the ungrateful and evil." (Luke 6:35).
My children are ungrateful. No sooner have I placed the torn wrapping paper into the trash on Christmas day then they start asking for more stuff. "Dad can we go buy X?" one of my twins asked me this past Christmas. He had just opened present after present but it wasn't enough. Instead of being grateful for all the many presents he had received from his parents, grandparents and cousins he wanted more. And his brothers are just as bad. His twin was crawling around the Christmas tree looking for more because, "That can't be all Santa brought me."
Their ingratitude doesn't just happen during Christmas either. Every evening it seems, someone is moaning about what their mom has made them for dinner. She has worked hard to make them a truly delicious meal, but somebody would rather not eat it. Examples of starving children in the world do not seem to dissuade their complaints at all. And sometimes their lack of gratitude makes me really angry. But here's the thing, my children are just images of their father. Because like them, I am ungrateful.
I live a truly blessed life. It's been magical really. I have two wonderful parents, and was raised in a loving home with an adoring extended family. I never wanted for anything. My stomach has always been full, and I've always had clothes on my back. I have the most wonderful wife a guy could ask for, three beautiful and healthy boys, two cars in the garage, plenty of food, a great house and some terrific friends. Yet my ingratitude never goes away. Instead of just being content, as Paul instructs us, I always want more. My wants are not the same as my kids'. I don't want more stuff. I want other things. More time alone with my wife. More clarity from God. Better and cheaper health insurance. A bestselling novel. A church that values the same things I value. And most of all I want quiet, obedient, and grateful children (for man this is impossible but for God all things are possible).
That God is kind to the ungrateful is really good news for me. Otherwise I'd be in really big trouble. I guess I am at least grateful for that.
Lord, help me to be grateful for all of the many blessings you have graciously bestowed on me. Help me to be content with the life I have instead of always wanting more. I know that I cannot do it without you.
R.C. VanLandingham is the author of the Christian fantasy novel Peter Puckett & The Amulet of Eternity. He lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful boys.