Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cinnamon Toast

     When son Zach was in preschool, he and his little classmates created their first Thanksgiving works of art: the iconic tempera -handprint-on-construction-paper turkeys. The teachers took dictation from the children as they completed the sentence, “I’m thankful for….” Heart-warming expressions of gratitude--usually for Mommies, Daddies, and pets--were transcribed below each speaker’s turkey. The masterpieces were displayed on the wall for proud parents to admire and exclaim over.
     I eagerly searched the exhibit for my son’s magnum opus. There it was--a darling yellow and green fowl, beneath which the caption read (drum roll): “I’m thankful for…cinnamon toast.”
     “Cinnamon toast?” I said to myself. “Is that all? A painful birth, colic, breastfeeding, diapers, strollers, tantrums, potty training, and 2,017 re-readings of Where the Wild Things Are, and the only thing he’s thankful for is cinnamon toast?” (Don’t ask me why I’d expected grander things from a preschooler.)
      Fifteen Thanksgivings later, Zach’s on an 11-month Rotary exchange to India, which, coincidentally, is one of the birthplaces of cinnamon. I’m proud of his gumption to travel to and study in such a drastically different world than our own, and I’m very grateful for his hard-working guardian angels, but I really miss him. Maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking about cinnamon toast.
      Ah, but why not be thankful for cinnamon toast? Without cinnamon, pumpkin pies would be nearly tasteless, and no one’s grandma would have ever baked the world’s best cinnamon rolls. God didn’t have to bless us with such a vast assortment of spices and seasonings. Try to imagine what life would be like if every meal since the first breakfast served in Eden had been without seasoning or zing. We’d be a thinner species, to be sure, but oh, so dreadfully bored!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above….” JAMES 1:17

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