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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Blessed Heart

Ah . . . ah . . . ah . . . ah-choo!!
          “Bless you!!” 
          We sneeze and someone blesses us. Routinely, glibly we say the words, but do we stop and think about what it means to be blessed? Do we recognize the blessings God has given us?
          There is a story I love about twin boys (although I don’t know the original source).  One was an optimist and one was a pessimist. Their parents were concerned about the direction their attitudes would take them in life, so they decided to teach them a lesson one year on their birthday. 
          The parents filled the little pessimist’s room with toys – every size, shape, description, color. They got the latest, the greatest, the most popular toys on the market. They filled the little optimist’s room with horse manure. (I don’t know who was responsible to clean it or for health care issues, but I’m glad it wasn’t me!!) They stood at the door to the little pessimist’s room, hoping he would be thankful, but before long he was complaining. The toys were too hard to assemble, they weren’t the right color or size. They weren’t what he wanted. Nothing pleased him. The parents peeked into the little optimist’s room, hoping that he would have learned to be more realistic about life. The little optimist was wandering around the room smiling and happy. When they asked what he was doing he replied, “With all this horse manure, there just has to be a pony in here somewhere!”
          Are you complaining about the beautiful “toys” you’ve been given or are you looking for the pony?
          Paul wrote the book of Philippians from prison, yet over and over he tells the church in Philippi to rejoice. His circumstances were not what we would call favorable or a blessing, yet Paul didn’t see it that way. He considered where he was a blessing because he got to see the Gospel spread because of his confinement. He rejoiced. He saw the blessings in the middle of a place where many of us would only see the horse manure.
         Have you taken time recently to count your blessings? Why don’t you take a few minutes to list some of your blessings? Write down 10, even 20 things that you are thankful for. They can be simple, general things like clothes to wear and food to eat to very specific things. 
Are you looking for the pony or complaining about the toys?

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