One Thanksgiving when I lived in Mississippi, I was feeling especially thankful. God was blessing my church and my family. What’s more, I was getting to eat the big turkey dinner with my wife’s family, and afterwards watch football, take a long nap, get up and eat pecan pie, and watch more football. How could life be better than that?
So as I gathered around the turkey with my wife and in-laws, I was called on to pray, since I’m the preacher in the family. I took the assignment seriously. This was “the” prayer. Since we weren’t having a full worship service, I felt it was my duty to give one to the family right there. So I launched into a litany of praise and thanks to God. I thanked God for the wonderful meal, for our family, for the freedoms we have as Americans, for the Bible, for the church, and for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. After I had prayed a while, I said, “Amen,” we cut the turkey, and we enjoyed the meal.
I got my plate full and settled down next to my wife on a couch, in a good position to eyeball the Dallas Cowboys on TV. That’s when my brother-in-law came over and sat down. He looked at me and asked, “You know what I’m thankful for?”
I looked up with a pastoral smile. Ah, an opportunity to be a spiritual mentor to my brother-in-law, I thought. “No,” I answered. “What are you thankful for?”
He said, “I’m thankful that you finally finished that prayer. I was afraid the turkey was gonna get cold before you quit.”
Now that I live in Georgia, I don’t get back to Mississippi for Thanksgiving. Back in the Magnolia State when they said grace over the turkey, I wonder if they ever call on my brother-in-law to pray. I doubt it. But I have a suspicion that even if he doesn’t pray out loud, he now has reason to be grateful.
Copyright 2007 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor. You can read more “Holy Humor” on the Web page of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.