Self Affirmation Is A Band-Aid On A Sucking Chest Wound

I started up the car to drive home from work this morning, and the engine started rattling and almost stalling, but it shrugged off the cold eventually, so I found myself having one of those "count your blessings" moments. So I was going down the list, and tallied up my health, my mind, and my soul which are, like my car engine, still relatively intact and functional. I have my family, a place to lay my head and plug into the world with my laptop, and the list just kept on growing, but I realized something. The list started with me, and went out concentrically, the way a hoarder sits on his porch and surveys his shabby domain. I was the center of the blessings I could count and this counting of my blessing was nothing more than the inventory of things I felt I should be happy about.

Then I started to think about how there are people everywhere in the world who have literally none of the things that I was tallying up so smugly and self-righteously. What blessings do they have to count? The AIDS-ridden orphan who lies naked and starving on the ground - what possible blessings could that child count? How could that child feel the love of God without the material manifestations that I was right now using to convince myself that I should be happy. Is happiness a commodity that only we who are privileged to have life's basics can claim? Obviously not, for we reject it daily because we want more than we really need. By such human reasoning, the only man who can truly claim to have reason for happiness is the one who possesses the entire world.

Then I realized the solution to this unsolvable equation. Because even with all this counting of blessings, I realized that I had neglected to count the one blessing that really counts. This is the only blessing upon which our joy can be said to stand solidly, because everything else can vanish in an instant, like a bird in the night, fleeting with shadowy silent wings. This is a blessing that we all can claim...

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

-Philippians 3:7-11

Maybe someday I'll be able to keep it always in mind that the world I share with 7 billion people orbits around the Sun, not me... and that like that world, our own personal worlds must orbit the Son of God or in the end spin off into the darkness of an endless void.

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