I’ve been a bad, bad boy with my posting around here. (Or lack thereof, I should say)
Sorry about that.
Also haven’t talked much spirituality lately. Not much of that Christ thing. Or God thing. Religion and all that.
I’m sure for some of you that’s been a breath of fresh air (*chuckle*) and others probably feel I’m slacking a bit on my faith walk since I’m not talking about it much.
But I have been thinking about blessings lately. This is a dicey topic, though. People both inside and outside the faith will zero in on talk of blessings and a often-interrelated topic called “faith.” If a person starts talking about their blessings, someone else will ask, “Well, why doesn’t God bless the poor and starving people in [insert community or nation here].” A person may talk about how their blessings are through their power of faith, and then by extension other Christians will say, “What? Are you saying my life sucks because I don’t have enough faith? Not everyone can prosper!”
And so on. And so forth. Ad infinitum.
But the fact that my life is blessed, in so many ways. When I look at it, I have no reason to complain, really. I still do, though. I think about what I don’t have instead of seeing all the things that I do possess and do receive. Do my blessings overflow my cup? Hell, no! Am I comfortable and prosperous. I wish!
But am I provided for?
Yes. Most definitely.
Over and over in my life, Mrs. Blue and I have come up on near disaster, only to have just the right amount of salvation (often in the form of unexpected money) arrive just before things reached crisis stage, or soon enough afterward to clean up the damage.
There was a point not so long ago that I wasn’t sure we’d be able to continue living in our house. Now the mortgage is paid off. Sure, the oil bills in the winter are still a bitch. Sure, we don’t have any money to fix the many things that need fixing inside this old house. But no longer does a mortgage hang over our heads; just taxes and insurance.
A couple months ago, we weren’t sure where Son of Blue would be going to college. His ACT scores were only average, thanks to horrible math scores (almost everything else was outstanding, particularly his verbal/writing/reading scores, which made the score that much more heart-wrenching). He had only applied to a few universities, a couple of which were pretty elite. Not only did he find a perfect school in the late application process, but he got some grants and scholarships. We were still concerned up until this week, because the remaining costs were still high, but now he’s got more scholarship money coming from the university, and all we have to pay for now is some $5,000 or so a year for room and board.
My wife needed a surgery that she had long put off, and Little Girl Blue needed dental work, and I still need to get an elective surgery done. None of those things would have been possible if insurance coverage hadn’t landed in our lap by a means that I can only call “the grace of God.”
I could go on and on, but I won’t.
I need only look at the terribly improbable turns of my life and know that if it’s coincidence or blind luck, then I should have hit a winning Lotto by now.
But it’s not just me.
So many people in the world are blessed, even if they don’t think so and even if we don’t think they are.
As terrible as it is that people have to live on things like a few dollars a day in pay in some nations, the fact is that they survive. If they didn’t, the population numbers would go toward extinction fast in those nations. And as hard as life might be, they still find reasons to celebrate and they still have happiness. Is life peachy? Probably not. But do they get by? Yes. And in this world, that seems to me miracle enough.
Why do hateful and horrible people prosper? I don’t know, but I have a feeling their “blessings” may in many cases be as fleeting as life itself. Why do so many good people have to scrape or endure horrors in their lives that they don’t deserve? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s so that those who can help will have someone to help. Maybe it’s supposed to be an object lesson to us how few people are truly without blessings, if we simply look at the world and its people as a whole.
If we look beyond the surface and into a wider realm. Of blessings. Of faith. Of spirituality. Of the next life (of next lives, perhaps…who knows how many stages and evolutions lie beyond this life?).
I know some of those who don’t believe in any higher power or life eternal will likely launch into me now for not being sympathetic enough to the suffering in the world. Or they will chide me for putting my faith in something invisible; putting my hopes into some eternal life that is unproved by science.
That’s their right, if they chose to do so.
But I look at the blessings in my life, and realize how many people have blessings in their lives, too, no matter how much rougher they are even than my own life.
There is suffering in this world. There is no doubt of that. But the blessing and the evidence of God, I think, is in how little suffering and death there seems to be, compared to how much it seems like there should be.