It was quite a while ago - perhaps around Easter. I don't really recall the specifics. I was working with the food pantry volunteers. There was this large assortment of instant Cream of Wheat packets with no date on them. The fact that they looked old did not matter. No date, no can hand out. But, if someone just takes them home, that is OK. By the end of the day it was obvious: No one was taking them home. So, frugal person that I am, the packets were rescued from destruction and found their way to our basement.
And there they stayed, nuisance though they were. Many a time they had fallen to the floor in our pantry. Other times they slid under boxes and caused them to fall. But I never did throw out those brown, old looking packets (some would use an adjective other than 'frugal').
This past weekend, as I rearranged our pantry, those little packets gained my attention again. I found a small shoe box that would keep them together - no more falling to the floor or sliding under the Cheerios. And I brought a couple of them upstairs to be tried.
Tuesday was Day One. After one minute in the microwave, I added a little milk and gave it a try. Bananas on Cream of Wheat did not sound like a good combination, so I ate my banana on the side. The cereal was good, but lacked a little something. Somewhere along the line I realized, and commented, that raisins were lacking - from the Cream of Wheat and from our cupboard. This morning when I opened the cupboard door, newly purchased raisins were positioned to the immediate left. And my breakfast was delightful! Later I will bring a few more packets up (I hope the box of Cheerios doesn't get upset with me).
They say "One man's feast is another man's famine" (Did you know that this line is from an old Hank Williams song?). I feel pretty confident no-one else in our condo is going to eat my newly exposed treasure, but it just might be the treat that carries me through the rest of this winter. Oh, how I enjoy life's simple little treats.
You may, or may not, enjoy Cream of Wheat as a breakfast treat. That's not the point. The point is that most of our blessings come in the form of simple, little things (like Cream of Wheat with raisins) ... so simple and little that we miss them. We complain about what we lack ("Where are the raisins?"). God gives us more. And. often, we still don't notice.
In Luke we find Jesus saying "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will." (Luke 10.21) I am sure you have noticed how little children can take incredible delight in the simplest of things - like an inflated balloon or an empty box. What about us? This morning I am thanking Jesus for opening my eyes to Cream of Wheat - and to the raisins on their left. And I am praying that he will keep opening my eyes to all those 'little things' that amount to huge blessings.
"Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!" Jesus says to those who follow him. "I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it." (Luke 10.23-24) I pray he opens your eyes to those little things, too.