Rachel Remen is one of my favorite authors. In her book ?My Grandfather?s Blessings? she writes, ?Most of us have been given many more blessings than we have received. We do not take time to be blessed or make the space for it. We may have filled our lives so full of other things that we have no room to receive our blessings. One of my patients once told me that she has an image of us all being circled by our blessings, sometimes for years, like airplanes in a holding pattern at an airport, stacked up with no place to land. Waiting for a moment of our time, our attention.?
This morning I flipped a light switch and there was instant electricity. Then I went to the sink, turned the faucet handle and water came streaming out. After that I got into my mom-van and turned the key. It started. I didn?t think anything of it. I drove into town and was on my way.
I?ve been leading a summer book study at my church on ?The Good and Beautiful God? written by James Bryan Smith. Each chapter concludes with a soul-training exercise which is designed to strengthen our spirits and create disciplines for our lives. Last week the exercise was to count our blessings. Smith challenged us to start a daily list as he said, ?Most of us are accustomed to waking up and thinking about our problems.?
What if we shifted our thinking away from the few things that are wrong to the many things that are beautiful and wonderful? Smith continues, ?The more we do this ? count our blessings ? the more likely it will become a habit, and eventually we will find ourselves doing it without thinking. We will become, as Augustine said, ?An Alleluia from head to toe.?
This week we get to celebrate our freedom as a country and the birth of our independence. I count this as a blessing. Watching the news these days is difficult for me because I see all of the problems our country is facing. It would be easy for me to wake up every morning and fall into a pit of despair. But instead, I wake up every morning and give thanks for a new day. I give thanks for the electricity in my house. I give thanks for water from my faucet. I give thanks for my vehicle and the ease of transportation.
This week I challenge you to start a list. Start counting your blessings no matter how small. See how your list grows as your eyes are opened to the way in which God is working in your life.