The Ice Cream Incident
Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said,“God is good. God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert. With liberty and justice for all, Amen”!
Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, ‘That’s what’s wrong with this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray. Asking God for ice-cream…why, I never!’
Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, ‘Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?’
As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my son and said,
“I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer.”
“Really?” my son asked.
“Cross my heart,” the man replied.
Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes.”
Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment then did something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already.”
Did you ever notice how many people feel the urge to speak up when they think someone has made a mistake or might be doing something wrong? These same people rarely speak up to compliment those they find doing it right!? Maybe we should all look for opportunities to recognize the ones that are doing things correctly – I know people would appreciate that!
The Moral of the Story: No matter what you do or how well you do it, there will always be critics commenting on your work – we all hear things like ‘you should have done this’ or ‘you shouldn’t have done that’. The important thing is that you never let them steal your thunder and don’t forget to take a break to enjoy some ice cream every once in a while – I hear it is good for the soul.
Teddy Roosevelt said it best, ‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’
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Thanks for the share, WK!