Yan's Corner - In Touch

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Lifestyle Virtue

Four years ago, when I first joined the Girls’ Brigade, I participated in the first girls’ training camp. I was assigned to the kitchen together with Mee Lin. Mee Lin is a much senior officer. She is not only gifted in craft-making, she is also good in cooking and in the planning of budgeted meals.

So, two of us worked through the days preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 100 girls. We worked on cost, nutrition and yummy food. For cost and yummy food, we decided that we would cook all the food. For nutrition, we looked at the food pyramid. We thought we have done the best because we really did our whole heart into it.

When the evaluation forms came back, we were hurt for a long, long time. The girls evaluated the food as “poor” with remarks like eating vegetables or “tou-fu” every meal.

Since then, whenever we have camps, we order food from the catering services.

Today, I read the postings of our young ones on the recent camp organized by the Youth Worship Service of the Church. Yes, food is again one of the subjects that the young ones feel that is lousy.

Yes, thankfulness – what a chore! But a thankful heart is one of the keys to a joy-filled life!

To give thanks is –

Acknowledge and appreciate someone, whether God or another person

Someone has given their time, their resources to play a part in making your happy. Isn’t it right and good to say “thank you”?

As a mother I used to nudge my two young children: “Now what do you say?” whenever they were given something. They would readily say, “Thank you.” This type of thanks is often linked to an event or an occasion. When a child receives a gift, the child says thanks for the gift. This type of thanks is looking backward. A service is done, and you thank for it. That’s the way we build up our children towards the healthy habit of saying thanks.

But, that’s not enough. The child is not yet there. He is only on the way towards the healthy habit. If you are not looking backward, you should be looking around or searching or looking forward. So, being able to give thanks in all situations is to find out the good in every situation and give thanks to God and to other people.

The food given in the camp may not be to your liking, but to find good in the situation would be thanking the hands who prepare the food, thanking that there is food for you to give you physical strength, thanking God for the provisions. Look around, look forward and search.

A quote from Henry Ward Beecher –

The unthankful heart…. Discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart … will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.

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