Monday, October 26, 2009

Counting Blessings...And Making It Count

Yes, I know, it's been ages since I've posted! But I was on vacation, and I made a strict rule for myself this year that I wouldn't do a thing for those two weeks but relax and rejuvenate. The beach is an incredible place to do that!

But I'm back to reality... and back to the blog.

Something that struck me while I was away is how cliche the phrase "Count your blessings" has become. It tends to be something someone says just after you've complained about a frustration, right? For instance, you tell a co-worker that your boss is driving you crazy, and she clucks her tongue and replies, "Well, count your blessings."

It's then that you realize your mind isn't counting your blessings, but rather counting the ways you might be able to "accidentally" spill your coffee over said co-worker's blouse.

When good phrases are used improperly, they get all mashed up in the cliche mill and lose all real meaning. But this one should be pulled out and recycled. It's not a term to be used to chastise someone who is just letting off some steam or to avoid having to listen to someone's problems. It's a phrase that we should consider in our own minds with complete sincerity, because if we don't take the time to notice our blessings we'll never know they even exist.

God tells us clearly in His Word that He wants to bless us, and yet we very often don't feel blessed. Mostly, we feel overwhelmed, overworked, and taken for granted. We don't notice all the little blessings the Lord showers down on us each day. But when we do notice them, we see that they're not so little after all because those blessings show how much we are loved, how much we are cared for, and how little all the other stuff that occupies our mind really matters.

So while I was at the beach these last two weeks, I made a point of going over my blessings at the end of the day. Beautiful weather, good books to read, spotting dolphins, a lightning storm over the ocean, the best fudge I've ever tasted, finding just the right souvenir for someone, laughing, great memories, good restaurants - anything that blessed me in any way, I made note of.

In the grand scheme of things, I deserve nothing. I really haven't done anything for Him but make it necessary that He sacrifice everything to pay the penalty of my sin, and yet He just keeps giving and giving.

And I keep missing it.

So I'm determined to train my mind to see; to stop letting the world and its weight pull my eyes away from what's happening around me everyday. I'm determined to recycle that much-used phrase and make it worthwhile again. I challenge you to do the same.

I just counted about a dozen blessings already today and I've only been up for three hours. Who knows what the rest of the day will bring?!