This may sound ridiculous, but one of the most satisfying experiences in my life is shopping for groceries.

This morning, I woke up early. Kathi and I had a very nice anniversary yesterday, complete with dinner, a movie, and strolling around Easton Town Center near Columbus. Unfortunately, this morning she had a migraine (please pray for her) so I decided to seize the opportunity and run out to get groceries.

Most of the time, a gaggle of kids accompany me to the store, but early this morning they were still too groggy, and passed on the opportunity. So off I went, using my normal “guy” shopping techniques. That means laser-like focus on the goal (completing the task), lightning-speed mathematical calculations, and debatable outcomes.

Nonetheless, while loading the groceries into the car, it came to me… not like someone tapping me on the shoulder, more like a whoosh… this is cool. It’s a gift. A privilege. A surge of gratitude filled my heart.

Through my work, a gift from God, I earn a paycheck. The work, I repeat, is a gift. There have been countless times in recent memory when friends and family members have lost jobs, and undergone incalculable hardship as a result. In more distant memory, think of the times when the U.S. has seen far higher levels of unemployment. The human toll is enormous. Ever wonder what the Church is talking about when it refers to “the intrinsic dignity of the human person?” Here’s just one practical aspect: being able to buy food.

Things are tough for a lot of people right now, so I’m grateful to have a job. I’m grateful to my boss Marcus Grodi, founder of The Coming Home Network International, for his spiritual entrepreneurship that gave rise to my employment. I’m also grateful to our many donors who sacrifice and provide for our continued existence.

Buying groceries might sound like a small thing, but it’s one of the things we can so easily take for granted. Although I have sometimes complained about how much we spend each month on groceries, clothing, housing, you name it – it’s really an investment in my family. The fact that I’ve been the sole provider for my family for over twenty years is a reflection of God’s generosity. Because in a spiritual sense, He is the sole provider for all of us.

If you’re among those who, like me, is fortunate enough to have a job and be able to pay for groceries, please join me in prayers of gratitude. Let’s also pray for those going through difficulties right now, and do our best to help them. For those who responded to my recent post about Dan Lord, thank you for your generous outpouring of support. Let’s keep him and others in prayer.

After all, buying groceries isn’t a right, it’s a gift. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m more thankful for the big, unusual stuff than the small, routine stuff. So here’s the challenge: maybe we can all try to find one small, routine thing today, and give thanks.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean, our kitchen is a mess.