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The Grateful Drive-Thru Guy

Have you ever experienced a seemingly mundane interaction that was actually very impactful?

I have.

But I didn’t notice at first.

Let me tell you what I mean.
Last week, I ran out of milk. If you’re anything like me, coffee with milk is an important start to every morning. Without it, my functionality is not quite right. Before work, I drove to the local coffee shop to pick up a latte at the drive-thru. It was nice out! The line was moving quickly, and it was shaping up to be the start of a really great day.

I placed my order and waited patiently to pull up to the window to exchange a few dollars for a shot of espresso—with milk.

As I rolled down my window, the guy working the drive-thru window greeted me. He looked like a college student, maybe slightly older. Without warning, he asked me a simple question:

“What are you grateful for today?”

His inquiry caught me a bit off guard.

I paused and asked myself:

In this moment, what am I grateful for today?

Practicing Gratefulness 

Often, it can be hard to vocalize on a daily basis what we are grateful for in our lives. The news cycle offers plenty of hardship, terror, uncertainty, and heartbreak on an hourly rotation. The stories of Afghan families trying to flee their home country have been weighing especially heavily on my heart. There are hurricanes, wildfires, a pandemic—the list goes on. As my pastor said in church a few weeks ago, “The devil has been working overtime.”

But underneath all the devastation and destruction, there’s hope. A deep, profound, all-encompassing hope.

You and I can find hope in our Christian faith, and in the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. These two principles give us hope, even in the darkest of days and the bleakest of nights.

And because of hope, you and I have the opportunity to be grateful every single day.

Grateful for our families and friends.

Grateful for our jobs.

Grateful for our homes and pets.

Grateful for vaccines and healthcare workers.

Grateful for a community of believers worldwide.

Grateful for the ability to worship our God daily.

Vocalize What You're Grateful For

So now, I’m asking you: What are you grateful for today? Take a minute or two to think about it. Maybe it’s a question you can return to throughout your day. Maybe you’ll write it down in a journal or use it as a prompt for your devotions. Maybe you can use this question as a daily check-in to get you started on the right foot before life gets crazy. 

Don’t stop there, though. Be bold enough to ask others this question, too. It’ll spark great conversation around the dinner table, with a friend, or even at the office. Your question could help others to pause and figure out what they’re grateful for.

I finally responded to the barista’s question by saying that I was grateful for my job, my coworkers, and the opportunity to work from home some days.

He said that was pretty neat. Then I asked him what he was thankful for today.

His response? Magnolia trees and pretty smiles.

Be hopeful, be grateful, today and every day.


Practice expressing both your joys and sorrows in prayer with the Psalms.

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Written by

Allison Lewis

Allison Lewis is a marketing content specialist at Concordia Publishing House. She is a native St. Louisan, a proud Mizzou J-School graduate, and a huge fan of Blues hockey and Cardinals baseball. Outside of work, Allison enjoys traveling, working out, book club, trying new recipes, and spending time with family and friends.

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