But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. – 1st Timothy 6:6-8
You’ve heard it said that “God works in mysterious ways.” I recall such a time involving a long car ride and a chicken McNugget toy. My wife and our two young daughters and I were driving up to Chicago-land to visit my parents.
It was about half-way into the 300 mile trip when I began noticing how every car that passed us along the road was nicer than mine. I was driving our mini-station wagon. It was worn, high-miles, not very fast, kids crowded in the backseat…no CD player, no power anything, and I was just doing an informal survey as the cars passed me up on Highway 55.
I remember thinking to myself, their car is nicer…their car is nicer…their car is nicer…and so is theirs…and theirs, etc. It seemed like everybody had a nicer car than mine. It was quite a pity party I was hosting for myself.
Then we stopped at a McDonald’s drive-through in McLean, Illinois. I ordered Happy Meals for the girls. The toy that came with the meal was a Chicken McNugget dressed up in a removable Frankenstein costume. A very weird prize for sure.
As we continued our journey and eating our fill, I was really staring at that ridiculous Chicken McNugget toy. That’s when it hit me, or perhaps God hit me; with this thought: Let me get this straight. You just drove up to a restaurant, ordered all you needed and then some, you paid for the meals without even thinking about it, you’re driving – not walking, stuffing fries in your face…with your wife who loves you and your two beautiful, healthy daughters inside a warm and safe vehicle…you’re full, and you are so wealthy that the lunch you bought for your children comes with toy food dressed up in a Halloween costume! This is ridiculous. You are so very rich, wealthier than 99% of the world’s population and you’ve spent your morning being miserable by comparing and complaining about it not being good enough.
I was humbled. That’s one Happy Meal I don’t ever want to forget. I’ve since lost the costume, but I have kept that toy chicken McNugget close by as a reminder that God’s Word is true: “Every day is a terrible day for a miserable person, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:15)
God is so very, very good. His grace is more than enough. How blessed I am.
Chuck Schlie serves as Associate Pastor and Head of School at Messiah Lutheran. As a father of 5 and over 25 years of ministry experience, he writes about faith, family and occasionally…fun!