"Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy angels guard thy bed.
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head."
-- From A Cradle Hymn
by Isaac Watts
No matter how bountiful the "heavenly blessings" of the past, each time a new crisis comes along I can always think of an even higher heap of reasons why this problem cannot be solved.
My car broke down last week -- again. Twice.
Should I be surprised that a vehicle with 112,000 miles on the odometer needs a new part now and then? Considering both times I was able to pull off the road without injury, traffic hazard or worse and help was quickly on the way, wouldn't you think that would be the end of my sputtering?
To add insult to non-injury, as I plotted my car-less life and expense, my little granddaughter-passenger announced during episode one, "We're having an adventure." Of course, she won't be paying the bill. But considering, too, that qualified mechanics had the needed expertise -- and loaner car -- to bridge my transportation gap, and I'll have the bill paid off by Christmas, wouldn't you think I could call the whole thing an adventure, too?
All this, plus other blessings lore from my files, has me feeling ashamed at "oh, me, of little faith," and stopping to take inventory of my still huge pile blessings that didn't go away, even when I forgot they were still there.
I wish I had read -- and memorized -- this anonymous quote before I wallowed in my minor misery last week. I could have spared myself -- and anyone who came near me --unpleasantness:
"When you have thanked your God for every blessing sent, what time will then remain for murmurs or lament?"
President Theodore Roosevelt had a similar reminder for his country:
"No people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours... in no spirit of boastfulness in our own strength, but with gratitude to the Giver of Good who has blessed us...."
And from an online pal comes the loveliest blessing-litany I've seen in a long time:
"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people in the world who won't survive the week...
"If you never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are better off than 20 million people around the world...
"If you attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the world...
"If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world...
"If you have money in the bank or your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top eight percent of the world's wealthy...
"If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not...
"If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people in the world who cannot read anything at all."
inally, when it comes to counting our blessings, perhaps we should be thankful we're not required to follow the original meaning of the word. According to my encyclopedia of word origins, "The word bless comes from the Old English word blod, meaning blood." In other words, for a "blessing" to occur, either an animal's blood -- or your own -- once had to be shed.
(Barbara Seaborn is a local freelance writer. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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