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Do you remember being in your school’s cafeteria as a child? I remember being in 2nd grade and standing in line outside of the cafeteria as I would wait my turn in line for lunch. My parents would send me with four quarters which would buy my meal as a child in the late 1970s. I would squeeze my oval shaped, thick but bendable plastic pouch as I waited in line to be sure that the quarters hadn’t escaped. The shiny coins would always look back at me through the opening in the pouch. I knew that if I would eat lunch, I would have to have the right amount of money to give the cashier. Being able to eat lunch and pay was the first experience I remember having where I paid because normally, at age 7, my parents always would pay at a store.

These days, as a teacher, I am sometimes summoned to monitor the cafeteria as students arrive in the morning and eat breakfast. We are fortunate to have universal free breakfast now. I am grateful that anyone can come to eat breakfast without having to remember their coins. Someone funded the breakfasts for kids. It helps start their day on a positive note with tummies full of muffins, milk and juice.

This morning, a six year old needed help opening her bag of cranberries. One Kindergartener had managed to poke an opening in his foil covered orange juice lid and was placing his spoon in the juice to get some out. He didn’t realize that he could have poked his straw through the foil lid and been able to drink it through the straw. Instead, he continued to dip his spoon in the crooked place to get out just a little juice.

When I saw the child trying to get into his juice cup in an inefficient way, I wanted to help so I asked him if I could show him how to place the straw in the juice. He loved being able to not have to spoon it out but instead drink it out! The little boy enjoyed getting to drink his juice to wash down his food instead of sipping it out of a spoon.

I feel that many times I’ve sat at the table, grateful for what had been provided for me, but unable to enjoy the meal. Kind of like the little boy who had fumbled with the orange juice lid, I have tried to enjoy my blessings, but somehow, something wasn’t just right. Instead of directly accessing my blessings, I haven’t always known how to get into them. I have watched as others enjoyed their lives and blessings, but have realized that I too need to be aware of how to best access the blessings given to me by God. I need a direct way into my blessings.

I want to try to enjoy my many blessings directly so it is important to remember that I am in charge of my response and my attitude.

I am an ambassador of Christ.

I have the Holy Spirit of God living in me. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord.

God reaches down and gently supports us as we try to enjoy the blessings that He has provided.

I hope that you will look to Him and ask Him, like I will, to help me directly enjoy all of the relationships and gifts that He has provided. Sometimes we can just go about it the wrong way like the little orange juice opener child. God will open new possibilities and cause me to grow, enjoy and be fully aware of my blessings.

God gives us special blessings like the coins in my lunch money pouch; ones that will provide blessings for us and for others. My friend, I pray that you will also find ways to bless others and enjoy the blessings that have been provided for you.

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