Many years ago I wrote an article called, There, By the Grace of Cheese, Go I, which was published in my book This School Called Planet Earth. It was about someone who suggested that if I didn't eat cheese, I would be a better channel. My immediate thought was, "Cheese is not the boss of me." I love cheese, I adore it. I would rather be with it than without it. But, it's not the boss of me. However, it has been known to be my inspiration for a good recipe, or a simple moment that has brought me closer to God.
Fourteen years later (a couple of weeks ago), I decided to splurge and buy some creamy gorgonzola cheese. I made a little plate of food for dinner that included a small pat of gorgonzola, some pineapple, avocado, a sliced boiled egg with yummy Himalayan salt and some cracked pepper, and a few small whole grain crackers, and then I poured a glass of my favorite cheap (Cook's) champagne. I was in absolute heaven. Every bite was delicious. Especially the gorgonzola.
Feeling satisfied, I took my plate to the kitchen. But, then, as I passed the refrigerator, the gorgonzola beckoned me again. I grabbed the chunk, and pinched off a satisfying bit, and put it in my mouth. The tingly, tangy, yummy cheese melted slowly on my tongue, and I washed it down with the rest of my champagne. Then, I went back to my computer to check email, or maybe binge watch YouTube videos, when I found that there was residue of gorgonzola on my forefinger and thumb. I licked it off, and sighed heavily, closing my eyes while I savored the flavor.
"Thank you, God, for cheese," I said aloud.
I heard laughter. I mean, seriously, God laughed.
"You're thanking me for cheese?" God laughed again.
I looked around the room, searching for the voice that was quite audible, and began smiling and laughing myself when I realized that God was truly joyfully laughing at my comment.
"Um, yeah...thank You for cheese. I mean, thank You for ALL cheese, but especially this creamy gorgonzola. I'm not ever going to deny myself good cheese again. I mean, wow...thank You so much. It's just so amazing."
Undeniably, the flavor of the cheese had not only touched my tastebuds, but my heart and soul were set free. I thought of every thought and every person who had gone into making that moment happen in my life. From the dairy cows and ranchers who raised them, to farmers who created the feed for the cows, to the cheese makers, cheese tasters (especially the ones who boldly said, "Oh, look! There's this blackish-blue stuff in that cheese! Let's taste it!"), the people who created the machines to automatically wrap the cheese, the graphic designers who made the label look pretty and describe exactly what was inside, the makers of the wrapper itself, the company that probably had countless meetings as to how best to market and ship the cheese to the public, the shelf stockers who displayed it so that I could ultimately find it, the people who thought of adding the little sticky label that suggested cutting off the rind before serving it (and the people who wrote those words for that little sticky label). I mean, the whole experience of even considering how this scrumptious bite of heaven got to my plate and into my mouth became awe inspiring.
I could go on and on about the plate it was served on, and how many people it took to create my plate, my fork and knife, the crackers, pineapple and avocados growers (trees, soil, bugs tilling the soil) etc. that made my meal so special. From the clerk at the grocery store, to the amazing humans who invented this miraculous vehicle called a "grocery cart" that is easier to maneuver than my Toyota Yaris. Yup, uh huh, and okay...I know you might be thinking that I'm going overboard with my thinking...but, little do we know how we touch lives, nor do we often think about how intertwined our lives are. It took a lot of people, animals, plants, and more, to create this darn perfect gorgonzola cheese that lead to me thanking God for it, and writing an article about it. (Don't get me started on the people it took to create this keyboard that I'm typing on, the computer, software, and the high speed internet to get this newsletter to you.)
So, when I thanked God for cheese, after the laughter subsided, I was suddenly and gloriously wrapped up in this incredible blanket of love...warm and scrumptious in and of itself. It was the same kind of feeling that I remember as I was gathered into my mother's bosom for a warm and beautiful hug after thanking her for a wonderful meal. It was the most heartfelt "You're welcome," and it was then and there that I realized how often I forget to acknowledge the One who is the heart and soul of all creation. Oh sure, I thank God for the big things. And, I thank God for the little things. But, the seemingly mundane things, such as a piece of cheese? Well, it wasn't about thanking God for getting a promotion, or winning the lottery. It was about thanking God for that one body/mind/spirit satisfying moment that made my heart sing. And, the coolest part was, I discovered that my gratitude made God happy, too. Wow.
So, if you think you that haven't contributed anything to the world today, please reconsider. If you're that clerk in the grocery store who smiled and made a difference in my whole attitude for the day, thank you. If you're the person who hit their brakes in traffic when I made a dumb move that could have caused an accident, and you just smiled and waved me on, thank you. If you are the gal on the other end of the phone who cheerfully stuck with me when I had to make that dreaded phone call to fix my TV reception, thank you. If you're that one who prayed today for the upliftment of all people on earth, thank you. If you sent me an encouraging email, or prayed for me today, thank you. On and on it goes, i.e., the waste management truck driver who always readjusts my trashcan when it's too far out into the street. I mean, really? He has nothing else to do with his day than to get out of his truck, readjust my trashcan just to make life simpler for me? Wow. Thank you, waste management guy.
The things that we do that matter, are often the things we will never know that we did.
You may never know how or if you've touched a life today, or whether your life has made a difference. But, if you stepped over an ant, picked up a piece of trash, or thought even one good thought about yourself, you have released a wealth of goodness into the world.
Thank you for that.