A couple of Thursdays ago we had our jazz festival held out of doors on our property. In a not so wise move I prayed for rain at the opening collect for Mass that morning. It rained like all get out for the first time in weeks. Then I started worrying that perhaps we had prayed too hard because it was getting closer and closer to the time of the festival and it was still raining like Gos was trying to get rid of overstock. So I prayed that it would stop raining and it did. We dodged that bullet!
Some time after it struck me how fortunate we were weather wise. It rained when we needed it. It stopped when we needed it. The ground dried enough and the cloud cover made an otherwise sweltering summer bearable. And I didn’t thank God. I thought how lucky we were, but I forgot to stop and really say thank you.
There is an old Slovenian saying that goes, “He who is polite to you but is rude to the waiter is not a polite person.” This saying came to mind during the last St. Sebastian Chesterton meeting as we read the “The Ballad of the White Horse” where Chesterton described God as a servant:
“And well may God with serving-folk
Cast in His dreadful lot;
Is not he too a servant,
“For was not God my gardener
And silent like a slave;
That opened oaks on the uplands
Or thickets in graveyard gave?
“And was not God my armourer,
All patient and unpaid,
That sealed my skull as a helmet
And ribs for haulberk made?”
It goes on but you get the idea. Even if we count not what we perceive as “special favors” there is still so much for which we should be grateful from our servant-God. And thankfulness comes not naturally, it is a discipline hard won and no greater one is there deserving thanks than the One who made it possible for us to offer it. He who says thanks to the cashier but not to God is not a polite person.