Let’s go back a decade or two or three or more and talk advertising. Long ago Alka-Seltzer ran a commercial in which a rather unhappy looking man was sitting in a restaurant complaining. The waiter had brought him something and said, “Try it! You’ll like it.” “What is it?” the man asked. “Try it! You’ll like it!” repeated the waiter. That phrase, “Try it! You’ll like it!” became a cultural phenomenon. It was everywhere. It was on bumper stickers and t shirts, coffee mugs, and just about any place you can imagine. In those pre- internet days, “Try it! You’ll like it!” went viral. Here’s the rest of the little thirty second clip. The man says, “So I tried it.” Dramatic pause. “Thought I was going to die. So, I took two Alka-Seltzer.” Alka-Seltzer had as big a hit with that spot as they did even farther back with Speedy Alka-Seltzer. “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.”
Okay, that poor guy tried it and thought he was going to die. But at least he tried it. I think of all the things I know to try, to do, to live, to obey, and how many I too often leave sitting on the table untouched. There are so many things we teach, read, study, and do not do. “Try it! You’ll like it!” No thank you. I’ll look at it. Study it. Analyze it. But I’m fine as I am. I don’t need to try it.
But the Bible says, “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Do you know what that means? It means you have to actually do something. To taste and see that the Lord is good means you read or hear something he says, and you decide you will try it. The result is you discover God is right, and God is good. And good means pleasurable. God is a sensory and taste delight. Here’s an example. Gratitude. Thankfulness.
You know what the Bible says about gratitude. It says things like we are to be, “always giving thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” That’s a pretty clear command and I think most of us want to at least try to obey it. So, we stop and think about for what we’re thankful. What do we list? General things. Broad topics. We’re thankful for life. For family. For our country. For health. All well and good, but I don’t think this anywhere nearly fulfills what God wants for us. He wants a constant stream of thankfulness to pour from us over each little experience, moment, and treasure we encounter. This is what giving thanks always for everything is.
A few years ago, Barb and I began to understand better the need for gratitude. Barb especially took this to heart. She has become the most grateful, thankful person I know. She walks across the yard and thanks God for the feel of grass underfoot. She looks at the sky and sees its colors and from her heart cries out, “Wow, isn’t God so cool?” She thanks God for mornings and she thanks him for evenings. She is continually grateful for breezes that touch her face and for the colors of leaves. Everything. Through watching her I have learned, and I have seen that God calls for constant thankfulness because he is wanting us to come alive to everything around us, all the gifts we constantly receive and do not see. It isn’t that God has an ego we have to stroke. He has a joy to give that he wants us to experience. So, try it. You’ll like it. And you will not die. In fact, you’ll live.