The Importance of Saying Grace
Thanks and amen.
We were halfway through our church potluck lunch when a choir member stood up and did that finger-tongue-whistling thing that all men over a certain age seem to know how to do. "We forgot to say grace!" If plastic forks could make a clattering sound when they hit Styrofoam, there at once would have been a great ruckus throughout our echoey old fellowship hall. So before any of us choked on our dinner as penance for our recklessness, our amused pastor prayed a belated blessing over the impious potluck: "Bless this food," he paused. "And all that is within us."
Even the most reverent cotton-candy-haired dames of Bethel had a good chuckle over that one.
Better late than never, they say. And it turns out that it's true for saying the grace too. It's not about when you say it or even how you say it, it's the practice of saying it all.
In the age of immediate replies and high-speed everything, saying the blessing is a welcome opportunity to slow down and take a moment to practice thankfulness. It's a few moments of peace and quiet to be together and revel in that togetherness. It's a time to be thoughtful and give voice to the gratitude that you feel for things big (good health) and small (good biscuits).
Plus, acknowledging your blessings is good for you. "I often tell people to make a list of the things in their life that they feel grateful for and review it for a couple of minutes every day," says Lexington, Virginia, psychologist Dr. E. Kirk Luder. "Doing this has pretty robust effects on feelings of life satisfaction and happiness." Plus, he says, thinking about your blessings also "helps neutralize a lot of the negative stuff that comes up every day."
So if you've just scarfed down half of your sandwich whilst sitting at your desk and neglected to say grace, it's not too late: Go ahead and bless the rest of that sandwich and all that is within you.
WATCH: The Funniest Church Signs of the Week
As if my pastor's belated blessing didn't give you the heads up, church folks have a pretty wicked sense of humor every now and then. Here, the Twitter community rounded up the funniest church signs from around the country, proving that humor and holiness often go hand in hand.