A full, happy and contented life is not about being wealthy, being popular, being highly educated, or being perfect. A meaningful life is about being real, being humble, and being able to touch the lives of others. This happens to those people who are able to count their blessings, and share them with others. William Penn says, “The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles”.
Most often we are busy counting the blessings of others instead of our own, which Harold Coffin calls ‘envy’ or ‘jealousy’. We are busy complaining about what we do not have. We are busy counting our miseries very carefully and not giving our blessings much thought. Michael Josephson calls upon us to “Measure our life by what we have, not by what we don’t”.
We are therefore encouraged to, as often as possible, count the small blessings, the great blessings, and all blessings in between; to count our gains instead of our losses, to count our joys instead of our miseries, to count our friends instead of our enemies, to count our bravery instead of our fears, and to count our smiles instead of our tears
Happiness comes from appreciating that life is a series of many small blessings each of which we are called upon to notice. The person with no feet would be happy to be barefoot; to the barefoot man, happiness would come from acquiring a pair of shoes. We are implored to notice that, unlike many, we are blessed with a husband, wife, children, family and good friends.
We need to notice, with gratitude, that we passed that exam, we got that job, and we have not met any harm or danger, whereas someone else was not so lucky.
We should remember, with appreciation, that we have food to eat, we have clothes to wear, we have a roof over our head, we have a place to sleep, we have sweet memories, we are alive, and we are able to sleep at night, soundly like a child; while others are not as blessed.
We are reminded to recognize, with thankfulness, that, unlike some, we woke up in the morning, we are healthy, and we’ve got eyes to see the beautiful skies, ears to hear the cheerful bird songs, hands to hold our child and feet to walk with.
Even when we undergo some painful patches in life, we are asked to consider the obstacles, setbacks and challenges that we are facing as a blessing in disguise. In Psalm 30:5, David sings that “Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning”.
We should seek and treasure our blessings; and not assume that we are entitled to them. Remember that the things we take for granted, someone else is praying for them. And once we are able to identify all our blessings, big and small, our hearts become grateful, which then attracts more joy, love and prosperity in our lives and, in turn, gives us the ability to become a blessing to others too.
Click here to listen to this inspiring song by Jeff and Sheri Easter that summarizes many blessings on our lives that we take for granted.