“Fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.”
(Philippians 4:8 TPT)
I sat at the table complaining, as old people do, about the upcoming generation and their ungrateful sense of entitlement when my attention fastened on a bowl of oranges and lemons on the counter.
I’m currently writing a story set in Northern Europe in the early sixteenth century. I need to know what kind of food different classes would have had set before them, so I’m checking out books, articles and videos because anachronisms in historical novels annoy me — severely. I’m motivated by a strong desire, almost obsession, to be accurate with detail.
Oranges and lemons were not on the list for most people. Neither was chicken unless you belonged to an entitled, extravagant class that would butcher an animal capable of making eggs. Capons that didn’t run fast enough might find themselves facing the axe, but only on special occasions. Only the wealthy ate meat other than the pork poorer classes raised on scraps. Sometimes they enjoyed fish they caught themselves. The spices I thoughtlessly ground on my scrambled eggs this morning were kept under lock and key in the best houses. Even the tomatoes and hashbrowns on my husband’s plate would have been unheard of in 1505. Pea soup and barley bread fueled most folk who worked for a living. Not an orange in sight.
Come to think of it, my grandparents, in a prairie shack so cold that the baby’s bottle froze in his crib, never feasted on oranges in February either. Grandma certainly never clicked on a video entitled, “50 Uses for Lemons” like I did last week.
“What were you saying about entitlement?” I heard the Holy Spirit ask.
Forgive me for ingratitude. Forgive me for my own sense of entitlement. We are, indeed rich and blessed beyond measure.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you for oranges and lemons. They are glorious.
Think about it. What foods do you now enjoy that weren’t available in your area a hundred years ago?