Sunday, June 11, 2017

Count those blessing

Image result for count your blessings cartoonI’m not the first to experience this, in fact, as far as I can tell this event is not uncommon but the sting of reality is a poignant reminder of the risks we all undergo as we travel through life and beyond.

Prior to the shadowy world of disappointment and despair I want to acknowledge the blessings of this life and the gifts that are so freely given. I wake up everyday. Everyday I have responsibilities beyond basic survival, I have options and choices. I am surrounded by love and affection and beauty beyond my ability to comprehend. I have a wife who truly does love me and is happy to care for me, as I do for her. That alone, that blessing, that gift from God is enough to carry me, to carry us through, but there is so much more.

We all know that life is meant to be challenging. It is within those challenges that we have the privilege to shed our natural man, our temporal selves for a more perfect self. Striving for perfection does not mean being perfect but in the attempt toward that lofty goal comes a fundamental change that ultimately allows perfection to exist. We, none of us will ever be perfect within this imperfect and flawed existence, but perfection can exist within us, if we allow it.

“Count your many blessing, count them one by one….” This simple exercise transforms the negative to the positive, it transfigures the mind, the eyes, the ears that see into what we are meant to be rather than what we are. As we count, we realize those blessing and those opportunities that literally surround us and envelope us in a shield of warmth and security, if we allow it.

But it’s not real, it’s all an illusion of your inner mind deceiving to believe what’s not real, and I say, who is to say what real is or not? Is this life all there is? Are we simply a biological happenstance thrown together by some stochastic acts of pure randomness and chance? If that is indeed the case and there is no Plan of Happiness or Salvation or ultimate Plan of Life then all we have is our choice to be happy or not.

Why choose the misery if happiness is also available? Why choose to be a victim if victory is within your mental reach? These are not easy choices, nor are they self sustaining, but they are worth the effort.

We all live with tragedy and disappointment, some much more than others and I have always been amazed at those who choose the high roads despite the gutters they must endure daily. These are truly exceptional individuals. They have persisted in overcoming the most arduous of assigned tasks, victory is theirs, even if only in their minds.

As you all know I have a belief in a Greater God than those promoted by the non religious. Belief is a word not too many wish to embrace. It is a word that suggests weakness and an unwillingness to stand alone to forge your way. From a psychological perspective belief is a component of many factors that influence those inbred, cultural norms that bring meaning to our lives. In some psychological circles we are in many ways slaves to those beliefs and can not change them if we tried.

One example given is the offer of a sum of money to truly believe that a pink elephant is flying our your window. They proclaim that this is impossible because it’s simply not true. I can agree with that. Truth then is the arbiter of belief, if it’s not true then it can not be believed. Again, I agree but with an explanation: I agree that truth is the foundation for all belief. I also agree that if something is not true than true belief is impossible.

What value is there in believing in a false premise? Further, what value for life is there to believe that there is not hope, no good, no plan or no chance to live again? We always come back to the question, what is truth? How can we know the truth of anything when science changes, facts change, even beliefs change?

Nothing in this world is as consistent than the overall belief in God. Since there is no standard for truth man has utilized the only consistent source of truth, at least their perception of the truth but in retrospect a fairly invariable set of rules, patterns, explanations and promises that provide hope for an unknown future. It is with this faith that many have found happiness.

Faith is more than a belief. Faith is the motivator to believe, to accept and act accordingly, it is with faith that our beliefs are centered and focused, allowing us to utilize the gift to recognize the beauty all around and the ability to count our many blessings.

Regardless of what my trials might be, are now or will be in the future I know that my faith in God is my source of truth and my path toward happiness and contentment. There is no other source of truth upon this earth that has provided a consistent plan of hope. Science changes, Psychology evolves and even history gets rewritten, but God has always said “be ye therefor perfect….”

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