Who doesn’t love the smells that come out of Mama’s kitchen?! My own children have all left home but still I love to go to my parent’s house and have my Mum’s cooking. It’s comforting, soothing, familiar. Doesn’t matter what the food actually is because it’s all about the nourishment I received there. My basic needs being met.
Now, I’m sure that there are some people who don’t care for Mama’s cooking at all. For a while my own dear children decided to go on an anti-broccoli stunt and discovered that many lessons can be taught in Mama’s kitchen. They received broccoli every night for two whole weeks and thereafter never complained about broccoli again. Instead, strangely, they took to saying they hated ice cream…interesting, huh. But, no parent likes to hear complaints and whining over the food they have prepared for their lovelies. It puts a real sour taste in the relationship. Mama doesn’t feel a whole lot of excitement towards cooking the next meal. She does, however, continue to cook in spite of, because her love is greater than her feelings of being unappreciated.
We do not go to the table and have food magically appear. Mama makes it. She puts time and effort in. At some point in a child’s development they come to this realisation that Mama is the source of the food. The way of Mama is to make the food (Yada level two). The way of Mama is to care for us, to love us. She is faithful in her preparing of food. Reliable. To be trusted. We learn to learn to say ‘Thank you” to her. To acknowledge and show our appreciation for the gift she has given us. My Darling Dearest was amazing at giving our kids a great example on this. I am not always good at following a recipe but am want to tweek it according to what I have available rather than make another trip to the store. Some have been terrific successes but, oh dear, some have been real doozies. Never once can I remember him complaining. He would always eat it…even when I was saying how bad it was and refusing to eat it myself…and he always says thank you. Appreciation boosts Mama’s dopamine levels. She feels happy. Appreciated. Ready and keen to cook for us again.
But imagine if you actually went to the kitchen and began to relate to Mama. Not just realising that there is food on the table. Not just acknowledging that it is Mama who gave it to you. Not just saying a repetitive ‘thank you’ after each meal. But, realising that Mama is a person. That she can be related to. Tell her heartfelt how you enjoyed her meal, how you appreciate what she does for you. It’s a whole ‘nother level of relating from just fact to heart-to-heart. A turning towards each other. A building of relationship.
I think God wants this turning from us. He, just like us, wants to be acknowledged, to be seen. It’s not a case of His self- worth as a parent depending on us being thankful. He’s not that insecure. But, if we are made in His image and we need relationship so much, then it stands to reason that so does He. The Bible tells us over and over that we are to come into His presence with thanksgiving. Say Thank you when you come into His ‘kitchen’. See what He’s done for you. Acknowledge it. Give due praise. Turn towards Him.
This turning, beginning to engage, is level three of ‘Yada’. It’s as if we are moving from just a superficial head level towards a heart level relationship.This dimension three is having a personal encounter. Truly, we grow in gratefulness. It’s so much more than just saying ‘Thank you’.