(An excerpt from TCA’s lesson, “Blessings”)
Consider the immense Blessings swirling around you at this very moment. You are alive. You are able to read these lines due to a thorough education and God-given intellect. You live in a nation and point in history where you are free to access ideas and worship without censorship or intimidation. You enjoy the luxury of time to reflect on these words, undistracted by war, crushing poverty, physical anguish and the terrible claw of all-consuming hunger.
Compared to nearly one-third of the Earth’s population, you are Blessed beyond measure. For at this very instant, thousands of millions of your neighbors are illiterate, ill-fed and desperately struggling tosurvive each day. They toil long hours in bone-crushing agony or soul-crushing despair. They cower through war, pestilence and the constant threat of sudden violence, praying only for distant glimpses of peace and hope.
Yes, you may have difficulties in your life and business, but to the wounded, fearful, diseased eyes of two billion of yourbrothers and sisters, you are Blessed among men. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, yet we often fail to appreciate just how much He gives us each day. Perhapswe are so accustomed to being Blessed, we assume it is natural, or even deserved. Yet the greatest Blessing of all is that we seldom get what wedeserve. In a world of sinners, where all fall painfully short, a true accounting of what we deserve would bea bitter task indeed.
“Just to be is a Blessing. Just to live is holy.” -Abraham Joshua Heschel (Theologian,1907-1972)