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Let People Eat!

I’m working through the fifteen leadership traits for this blog right now, but I thought I’d throw this in. I’m sure you have sat down to a meal and the host insist on giving a prayer? I support this for reasons we won’t go into in the space and time provided. For now, suffice it to say that you are what you eat, mentally as well as physiologically. I’ll touch prayer, contemplation, and meditation for personal development purposes during later segments.

Back on topic … you’ve sat down to a meal … you are freakishly famished … you are so hungry you could eat spinach jello … and your host insists on blessing the food, and that blessing lasts two hours. Don’t do that to people. The purpose of giving a blessing before a meal is to give a blessing before a meal, not to give a sermon. Let your guests go to Church, or Mosque, or Synagogue for a sermon. When your eating, eat. When you’re preaching, preach. It’s hard enough to focus on the Word of God with all the other distractions in our lives, let alone when we’re sitting with a plate of fresh-baked biscuits right under our noses. Man can not live by bread alone, but it’s pretty hard to get by without it.

Here is a simple, concise, quick blessing you can give to food. It was taught to me by His Grace Bishop The Right Rev. Dr. Seraphim of San Francisco, who also said, “When you’re teaching people, teach’em. When your feeding people, feed’em.” I am a Christian, so this blessing will naturally have a Christian motif, but I’m sure you can alter this blessing to meet your own belief system.

Here goes:

“Heavenly Father, bless the hands of those who have worked to make this feast possible for us today, for in doing so, they have provided us with sustenance to continue Your Work. Amen!”

Now, there are a couple of things I’d like to point out here. When you bless the hands of the laborer, you bless the product of the laborer. Furthermore, this blessing is all-inclusive. When we use this blessing, we not only bless the hands of the financier of supper, nor only the cook, but whom clears the table and does the dishes, the employees at the mill who milled the flower, the farmer who grew the wheat, the butcher who cut the meat … and, though I get some argument about this concept, the poor lamb that donated the leg … the warehouse people, the truck drivers, the store clerk … any one who had anything to do with you putting food in your stomach at that time.

Till next time, don’t get between people and food, particularly in the name of God … get people fed, and preach later. Remember, you are a spectacular individual capable of spectacular things.

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