You Pays Your Money:
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
A Thanksgiving Meditation
"Let's go over the list once more," I mutter to myself
at the check-out stand. "Oatmeal, frying chickens, and a
half gallon of rocky road. Yuban®
coffee and a couple loaves
of Roman Meal®
bread. A gallon of milk about rounds it
out." The register whirrs. I plunk down my money.
"Thanks," I say to the checker.
"Don't thank me," the grocery checker chuckles. "You
pays your money, you takes your choice."
No thanks needed? Your forefathers' hands caressed hard seed
grains as they sowed freshly-turned furrows. They knew whom to
"A man scatters seed on the ground," Jesus observed.
"Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts
and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil
produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full
kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the
sickle to it, because the harvest has come." (Mark 4:26-29)
No wonder Pilgrims gave thanks.
But the average person lives too far from the soil to awe at amber
waves of grain. I had glanced at my watch and tapped my foot while
the checker worked slowly through the loaded grocery cart ahead
of me. So what's to be thankful for? Shorter lines?
Yes, for starters. Women stand in lines for hours in Moscow to
buy fresh fruit. The selection on our supermarket shelves would
boggle the mind of a Mexican villager.
We thank God for a job to pay for our food--thousands are out
of work. We thank God for a warm home and a table to eat at-the
homeless live out of their cars at the park.
"But I work hard for what I have," you object. Yes,
so does the Chinese peasant bending over in a cold rice paddy.
You pays your money, but you can't buy health. You pays your money,
but you can't buy a son or a daughter. You pays your money, but
you can't buy rain to water crops in Peoria and Des Moines.
Thank you God, for the gifts you've given which I have no inherent
right to. Make me genuinely grateful. Amen.
Copyright © 1985-2013, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastorjoyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.