spiritualityI know a few people who are always talking about blessings.  It’s such a blessing that your baby was born healthy.  It’s such a blessing that you found a new job so quickly after you were laid off.  Having good friends is such a blessing.   It always feels vaguely religious to me, perhaps because the people I know who say it are on the born again side of Christianity.  At sixty-eight, I no longer criticize anyone’s beliefs … although I may avoid their evangelism … but still, I rarely use the phrase.  In 12-Step programs, I often hear an unexpectedly good turn of events called a God-Shot.  Carl Jung calls the fortuitous benefits of seemingly unconnected events synchronicity, which has the benefit of not requiring anyone to do the blessing.  For much of my life, I let blessings … God-shots … synchronicity … pass by unnoticed.   I was willing to take complete credit for most of my successes and the rest were luck.

Taking things for granted is a very human trait, and I think the more blessed we are the easier it is to do just that.  It is also easy to lose sight of just how fortunate we are in comparison to others when we are very blessed.   When Oprah Winfrey tries to inspire us by saying, The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work … or publicizes nonsense like The Secret … she ignores her intelligence and charisma (not to mention unique opportunities), blessings that aren’t bestowed on everyone.   When Magic Johnson says, You’re the only one who can make the difference. Whatever your dream is, go for it, he’s trying to be inspiring, too.  But the truth is, his achievement was based on the blessing of extraordinary basketball skills.  Most of us are better off following the advice of Aldous Huxley: Dream in a pragmatic way.  Less romantic, certainly, but there aren’t many five-eight old guys in the NBA and no matter how willing I am to work, I’ll never be the most powerful woman in entertainment.

I have a good friend who works very hard to make ends meet.   Even though he is just a little younger than I am, last winter, he took a job in oil fields of North Dakota in order to earn some extra money. It was hard physical work in the brutal cold and the living accommodations he’d been promised were dreadful.  While he was working, he aggravated a knee injury and when decent housing was not available, he reluctantly gave up and came home.   During a pre-op examination before knee surgery, the doctor noticed an arrhythmia in his heart beat and sent him to a cardiologist, who put him in the hospital immediately to get a pacemaker.  During heart surgery, they discovered unrepairable damage to the blood vessels around his heart and did a bypass.  He still works hard to make ends meet but his health is good.  My friend calls the experience a God-shot, not just because he didn’t have a heart attack on the tundra of North Dakota, but because without the whole experience, he’d probably have found the cardiologist after a major heart attack … if he survived it.  To me, that’s a way of looking at life that’s a lot more inspiring than Magic Johnson or Oprah Winfrey.

So, at sixty-eight, I’ve come to believe in God and I’m inclined to believe that God is involved in our lives, although the details of that involvement escape me.  And I know that I am indeed Blessed.  I hope that comes across in what I post here, in spite of Bud Dark and my Inner Curmudgeon. But beyond knowing, it’s important for me to stop periodically and notice … even write down … the ways in which I’m Blessed.

How are you Blessed?

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5 Comments on “Blessed”

  1. Akanksha Says:

    yes…v r really blessed… n its not “I” who do nethng its Me & GOD..

    i hv a couple of posts 2 elaborate my views on this “thank you is too small for u” & Importance of I Vs V.

  2. cherperz Says:

    I agree with you that I often feel by using the word “blessed” , it indicates a religious correlation. I tend to believe that many of our blessings are God-given but that is not to deny that some of our blessings are due to hard work or appropriate actions to achieve a goal. Example: Back in the days you ran marathons, was your ability to run 26 miles a blessing from God or the result of all the training? Conversely had you eaten every calorie you could get your hands on causing you to weight 500 pounds, would that be on you or God?

    I do believe that God is involved in our lives. I have no idea why some people seem to always be lucky and others never seem to catch a break, Often it doesn’t seem to be related to how they live their lives.

    Over the weekend, I went with a church group to the worst part of Kansas City see look at a couple of grade schools our church supports financially. 90 percent of the children at those schools wouldn’t eat on the weekends if our church didn’t send backpacks filled with food home with them. How is it that they are that poor and there isn’t a week that I don’t toss food because I have too much? There are too many reasons for the disparities among us to discuss here. Just this weekend I heard Warren Buffett address this very subject. He said he wouldn’t be rich if he had been a woman or a man of a different race given the era he acquired his wealth.

    As far at the guy that wrote The Secret,,he will get out of prison this year and it will be interesting to see what direction he takes with his life.

    Oprah…I have lost nearly all respect for her over a number of issues. She might attribute some of her success to God-given talents such as intelligence, and charisma, but she needs to attribute some of her success to knowing how to manipulate people, events and opportunities to her favor.

    As always, sorry for the “long-winded” answer.

  3. territerri Says:

    It does seem to take most of us a bit of effort to stop and recognize how good we have it. And less often, we stop to think how quickly and easily things could take a turn for the worse.

    I know that I am blessed in many ways and when I stop to really think about it, I might recognize blessings as simple as not having to worry about keeping warm at night or having food to eat each day. My family is intact, healthy and even relatively happy. I’m grateful for that. Most often lately, I find myself recognizing how fortunate my husband and I are to be gainfully employed. One of my goals this year is to do a better job of giving back in recognition of the abundance we have.

  4. I am a bit of a word nerd, so I looked up the meaning, most of them have underlying religious meaning — my favorite: to invoke divine care. I like that description because it best describes the way I think of blessing — something I possess that I did not work for or gain by my own doing, yet more than coincidence. Divine care with perfect timing, intimate knowledge of my need, and generosity beyond compare.
    I am blessed indeed by a strong marriage — while I have put effort into it, grace covers much of where I fall short. I can say the same for my parenting and friendships. We and grateful for the safety and comfort our home provides, but we are blessed to have great neighbors.
    I guess some may see blessing as everything good in their life, others may see it as ‘the sprinkles on top’. Either way, recognizing how blessed we are creates an attitude of thankfulness and that is good.

  5. “My friend calls the experience a God-shot, not just because he didn’t have a heart attack on the tundra of North Dakota, but because without the whole experience, he’d probably have found the cardiologist after a major heart attack … if he survived it. To me, that’s a way of looking at life that’s a lot more inspiring than Magic Johnson or Oprah Winfrey.”


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