I started to watch the Academy Awards last weekend. But the Academy Awards in and of itself isn't the highlight. Ohhh, nooo! The Bawbrwa Wawlters interveiws before the Academy Awards is the real deal! It's just not the same until you've seen some celebrity cry on Barbara's shoulder right before the show.
This year, they showed a clip of last year's highlights before the actual crying began. Her first interview was with Ellen DeGeneres. Now, I like Ellen. She is hysterical. And no one, no where, no way will ever be a better voice of Dory in Finding Nemo! She has dry humor, warmth, and style. Anyway, Ellen was discussing the ups & downs of her life. Like most of us, Ellen has had some really big successes, but she has also had some very painful things happen to her along the way. They showed an early clip of Ellen when she was on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, where she did a thing about calling God on the telephone. So Barbara asked Ellen what she would say to God if she really could call him on the phone, and Ellen got very teary-eyed (it is Bawbrwa Wawlters after all) and said with all sincerity, "I'd say thank you, I've got nothing but gratitude. My whole life, I am blessed. I feel it everyday."
I was so convicted by her words, I turned off the TV.
I don't know what Ellen's religious beliefs are, but that's not my point. The point is the overwhelming gratitude at the life she's been given. She recognizes her blessings and I had to ask myself if I am as quick to recognize mine, or do I get consumed with other things?
When I pray, which is really a telephone call to God, how much time do I spend thanking Him for what is already in my life? Do I tell Him thank you for already blessing me more than I deserve? Do I tell Him that if He never did anything for me but sending His son 2000 years ago to die on the cross for my salvation, that's more than I could ever repay?
I never telephone my friends and say "Let me tell ya what you can do for me today" and I'm betting my calls would soon be screened if I did. I'm quick to say thank you to my friends, it's just good manners. But I'd never say, "Well that's nice but if you really wanted to help you could do this ..."
As a mama, I spent lots of time teaching my kids to say please and thank you. That's just what nice people do. So why am I so quick to say thank you to the cashier at Paradise Bakery for the buddy bucks, but so slow to tell God thank you for the air I breath, the family that I love, the friends that I adore, and the blessed life that is so much more than I deserve?
I never thought a Barbara Walters special would cause me to think spiritually, but it did. Maybe I'm "in the zone" now -- and last year I was not. I just know that Ellen's words made me stop and think. And I made a telephone call to God, just to say thank you.
Isaiah 58:11: The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.