Monday, May 17, 2010

Insanely Blessed

I don't use the word 'blessed' very often.  I don't know - it just kind of bothers me.  I do not like the thought of a God that picks and chooses who is going to be rich and who is going to be poor, who is going to be healed and who is going to be sick and who is going to be part of a loving family and who is going to be a victim of intimate partner violence.  God doesn't bless some people and not others, answer some prayers and not others.  Reconciling the misfortune in the world is one of the hardest part of Christianity for me.

That being said - lately, I've felt blessed.  I cannot think of a better word to describe it.  Yesterday I arrived at church thinking about a million different things.  It was Christian Education Sunday and - as the chairperson of the committee - I wanted to make sure everything for the service and celebration afterwards was perfect.

My pastor walked out of the 8:30 service said, "Don't move, I have something for you" and then disappeared into her office.  She returned with a gift - for me!  It was Lao Tzu's, Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey.  Lao Tzu is a Chinese Philosopher who writes about finding peace and being in harmony with the universe.

Kim shared her favorite with me:
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

Isn't that beautiful?  I cannot wait to read the rest.

Fast forward to halfway through the service.  Bruce and I were presenting a graduation gift to one of our high school students with the associate pastor.  After the presentation was over, Heidi told me to stay up because she had a graduation gift for me!

She presented me with a leather portfolio with the United Church of Christ's logo on it!  Isn't it nice?  I will definitely be bringing it with me when I go to (hopefully!) interview at churches in a couple of months.  Not only will it keep me super organized and professional looking, but it will also be a comforting reminder of the amazing support I have at Pilgrimage.

Speaking of support ... After church my friend Becky (who just finished up her first year at Candler) pulled me aside to give me this:

The Traveler's Gift: Seven Stories That Determine Personal Successes.  Wonderful lessons for someone who is about to make some major changes in her life.

Anyway, after spending the morning being showered by unexpected gifts, I couldn't help but feel blessed.  Blessed by the kindness of my family, friends and wonderful church communities.  Fortunate to be living in a time and place where I can live out my call as a full-time vocation.  Blessed by the support of my family, friends and church communities as I live out this call.

I'm not sure that blessed is the right word - but for now, that is all I've got.

I am insanely blessed.


  1. You bring up a good point about the word "blessed" especially how it used by some "preachers" about how God blesses one person over another. I kind of like to stick with the Greek word for "blessed" which also can mean happy. Sounds like you had a day where you were extremely happy to serve at a place where you felt blessed... "

  2. Very cool! You are blessed. And the way I look at it....God has given everyone the capability of being blessed (He pronounced The Blessing over Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. and the descendants that would come from them)- we just need to receive it and do our part to activate it our lives. We do have a part in partaking of the blessing - He doesn't hold it back, but He holds true to His Word and He has given us responsibility in the matter too! Just as a parent on earth does.


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