I was escorted on a driving tour over the past weekend that literally left me in awe, and it takes quite a bit to awe me.
As we drove along at a moderate speed, my driver, (who also acted as my guide), pointed out a vast panoply of things that really astonished me.
The first area we covered was what he called the animal preserve. To our right was a vast field of cattle, at least two or three hundred fat plump steers. To our left a muddy area was filled with hundreds of contented pigs wallowing in the soft mud. On down the road were pens containing sheep, a few goats, rabbits, some squirrels, several deer, some bear, buffalo, alligator, a monkey or two and a few other animals.
As we continued to drive along, my guide pointed out a huge penned area containing literally thousands of chickens, dozens of turkeys, some ducks, a score or more of quail, and a few exotic birds scattered here and there.
We finally came to a large aquarium that contained huge numbers of fish. There were trout in abundance, hundreds of catfish, perch, bass, a multitude of ocean dwelling fish, and a tank containing thousands of shrimp, lobster, clams, oysters, crabs, some squid, shark, and other more exotic sea life.
After we left the aquarium my guide drove through extensive fields and pointed out a vast abundance of growing things. We drove through great fields of succulent corn, acre upon acre of potato fields, extensive fields of cabbage, lettuce, carrots, melons of all types, onions, celery, tomatoes, peas, beans; wheat, rye, just about every vegetable or grain you can think of.
Further on down the road we ran into orchards containing apples, pears, oranges, bananas, peaches, plums, grapes, strawberries, trees full of nuts, berries and fruit of all imaginable types.
I kept thinking to myself as we drove along that; whoever this guy was he surely likes to brag on how much he has. Not only did he smugly point out the abundance of life, vegetables, fruit and other things he possessed, he even showed me large bulk items.
The next area we entered contained lakes of milk, pools of ice tea, tank farms of coffee, soda, beer, and freezers full of ice cream, butter, and other perishable products.
The last area we drove through was a bit odd. It contained mountains of sugar, piles of salt, barrels of spices, such as dried chocolate, tea, pepper, sage, garlic and other things.
As my tour guide dropped me off at the location from whence we began our extensive tour, I had become somewhat frustrated at his smug and "better than thou art" attitude.
"Thanks for the incredible tour," I told him, "but I'm honestly not that impressed with all the wonderful possessions you have."
"You don't understand do you?" he asked, pointing back at the rolling land of plenty. "All that is not mine, it's yours."
"Where would I get such a vast amount?" I asked. "I'm not exactly rich you know!"
"I should have said, it was yours," my guide continued. "You see, everything I have shown you has gone into and through your body since you were born. Those fields contain all the food you have eaten, all the drinks you have taken, everything you have used to sustain your life since your birth. Although it does not include the timber used to house you, the cotton and other materials used to clothe you and other mineral wealth. It was all provided by your Father in heaven. Most people do not realize the enormous amount of sustenance it takes to see you through a lifetime."
My mind was in shock at the tremendous bounty that we had just driven through, I could not believe that I could have consumed so much in my life span, but I was even more shocked by what my guide showed me next.
"This small item," he said, pointing to a few papers with writing on them, "is the number of times you have thanked God for the bounty He has provided for you."
I hung my head in shame!