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Monday, 20 July 2015

A Happy Meal: a story for kids who are camping

Have hidden in a plastic container: a slice of bread with a thin layer of butter or margarine on top

Have you ever had a Happy Meal®? What was in your Happy Meal®?  Why did it make you happy?

Now, imagine if I promised to give you a "Happy Sandwich."  What would need to be on it for you to be happy about it?  Maybe you would like a thick layer of mayonnaise followed by slices of cheese and strips of bacon.  Another person would prefer a fried egg with salt and pepper, and still another would be happiest with peanut butter and blueberry jam.

Would you like to see the happy sandwich that I made/brought with me?  (Open up the container and show the children.) What do you think?  Would it make you happy?  Why would I even call it a Happy Sandwich?

This is the name my grandmother gave to a plain slice of bread that had only margarine on it.  My grandmother is in heaven now, but when she was a little girl this kind of sandwich was what she ate for breakfast AND supper everyday because her parents did not have a lot of money.  She called it a Happy Sandwich because she was happy with what she had.  At least she had something to eat instead of nothing.

Another word for being happy with what you have is being "content" or "satisfied."  It is the difference between saying "Thank you" to God instead of complaining "Do I have to eat THAT?"  It is the difference between saying "Thank you" to God for your clothes instead of complaining "All my friends have nicer things than I do."

When my grandmother was older, she had times when he had wonderful things on her bread.  She was a little bit like Paul in the Bible, who said in Philippians 4:12-13:
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."
Being happy with what you have is also something we can learn when we are camping.  At home we have a bathroom nearby, but when we are camping we have to walk a long way to use the bathroom. Also the bathroom at home is usually much cleaner than the one at a park. At home we are not bothered much when it rains, but when we are camping it means our tent might get soaked or we are stuck inside our camper.  In our homes we have so much stuff, but when we are camping we only have the basics with us.  When we are camping and we are happy with what we have, then we will be extra thankful when we go home and appreciate those blessings even more.

It should not matter if we have a little or a lot; Jesus is with us no matter what.

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