By James Washington
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
Let me know if you ever feel this way. The whole idea about blessings is becoming more and more clear to me every day. I don’t know if it’s age or not, but life’s experiences do bring perspective to one’s outlook regarding the notion of being blessed. I mean haven’t we all been taught that it’s better to give than to receive. Kindness and goodwill should be characteristics of all of God’s people. Forgiveness and mercy should be staples of the Christian diet. Somewhere someone is saying, ‘that’s right,’ or they should be. The result is supposed to be a reaping, if you will, of untold rewards for a life spent of sowing with no expectation of getting anything in return.
If that is what you’ve been told and what you believed, then you also know that when life takes over, it ruthlessly attempts to get you to believe none of that is true. Life teaches you at an early age that kindness will be taken for weakness. Generosity is akin to foolishness and is something more apt to be abused. Life and the people in it will use you if you let it/them. Pain usually comes from an attempt to help somebody who doesn’t really give a damn about you. It can be the source of turning a good person bad because people will find ways to protect themselves. We all learn to survive. Eventually, you learn how to navigate a world in which we see nice guys finish last, takers succeed, what goes around doesn’t come around and cheating definitely wins.
Now here comes scripture, with the notion that giving is always better than receiving. I thought about this and realized you don’t know what kind of mother you’ll be until you have children. You cannot know what kind of friend you will be until you have a friend. You can’t know the depths of a person giving you love until you find yourself head over heels in love. The point is you really can’t know yourself as a human being until you openly and honestly share your life with others, without fear, without restrictions or conditions. For a lot of us, this is a tough call because life has been so cruel. But remember only by being a friend can you know true friendship. Only by giving love unconditionally, can you know unconditional love. And here it is, only by being a blessing can you know what being blessed really means.
To me, it doesn’t work any other way. It can’t. It’s one of my factoids. If you go through life existing based on your own definition of love and friendship, then that’s what you get in return; love and friendship with strings attached. You can’t expect your prayers to be answered if they all start and stop with gimme. You block countless blessings, if your prayers only include and involve you. You see God should not have to ask what have you done for Him lately; when all He asks of us is to recognize we are all made in His image. “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” John 12:13. Like I said, being a blessing is the only road to being blessed. Then and only then can you face the nonsense that happens every day in this world with any kind of clarity. May you be a blessing to someone today and may God bless and keep you always.
May God bless and keep you always,