Collecting Blessings by Rev. Mark Stuefloten 8/21/2022 (text)
Collecting Blessings by Rev Mark Stuefloten
I collect blessings where many see nothing but pain and sorrow. I collect blessings that other people have tossed out. I have found amazing blessings at spiritual garage sales. God sends everyone blessings, but not everyone likes the blessings they have received. So, they return the blessings, re-gift them, and pace around waiting for the blessing they want. Some people peek over the fence to see what blessings the neighbor has and declare, “That is the one I want.” They think blessings should be of their own design.
God does not bless one person and not the other. People get what they need. God knows what we really need, when we need it. A man named Edwin prayed for a car. He saved for a car, but always had to spend his savings on unexpected bills. He rode his bike everywhere. Years later, his doctor discovered Edwin had a heart defect that he had had for many years that had not been detected. By riding his bike everywhere, he had kept his heart disease from progressing. I was talking to a man, at my men’s group, who had cancer. He said that he came to realize that his cancer was from God, too. He knew God was present and was working out the best possible outcome for him. He died a few years later. God’s plan for his
highest good was to bring him home.
We are created in the image and likeness of God. We are spiritual beings. We are co-creators of our world. Blessings are divine gifts to lift us up, to get us going when the going gets tough. Blessings are surprise packages, unexpectedly delivered at the needed time. They are the very thing we need, when we need it. Blessings are not of our creative manifesting abilities. They are “divine intervention.” I said I was a collector of blessings, and you may wonder how it is that I can take a blessing for myself that was meant for someone else. Well, I cannot take even a discarded blessing for myself. However, by recognizing the blessings of others, we share in their joy. We all benefit when something good happens for someone. When someone’s life is lifted up, all our lives are better for it.
When we celebrate other people’s good fortunes, we share in that blessing. It’s simple, but not easy. It’s not easy because of our ego. To be a blessing collector, you must be happy with your share of blessings first.
For instance, if you’re in line for a promotion and another person with less time and talent is promoted instead of you, can you whole-heartedly celebrate with them? A lot of divorced people have told me that, had they known what they know now, they would have worked to save their marriage to their first mate. They realized that they had tossed out a blessing. Friendships are lost with a few careless words. Everyone gets the blessing that they need. You need transportation. You’re thinking of a new light blue convertible sports car. You discover that your blessing is that the city’s bus route is now extending to your neighborhood. You need time off for a vacation. You get laid off work. Meanwhile, you see your light blue sports car parked in the guy’s driveway down the block. Of course, you have a list of reasons he doesn’t deserve it. It's a common mistake. The universal dealership delivered it too the wrong address.
So, how do you collect blessings? It’s not easy because you must truly celebrate other people’s good fortune. Rejoice in their blessing, even if it's you're blessing you think they have gotten. Sometimes, it’s a blessing to not get what you want. I have heard many stories about the woman or man that got away. The job or position that should have been theirs but was given to someone else. For years, they say that same old story, over and over. Think about what you have lost out on. The problem is, we assume had we gotten the guy or gal, the job, whatever we believe we lost, we imagine a forever happy life. I have realized that I had great parents and brothers. I had a good life growing up. I was loved. My family was not perfect, but we loved each other. I realized all this after hearing so many stories of other people’s growing up years.
I have always said the one thing I regret is that I did not see the good. I did not appreciate what I had for many years. I send prayers of thanks to all those people in my life. I send prayers of apology to people I hurt. My worst sin is not appreciating the people and things in my life. All of those blessings I tossed out. I am a collector of blessings now, a good finder, open and willing to share the good in my life.
We really don’t know the reason why things happen to people. I see people of all ages and all walks of life in the hospital. I have worked with people in prison who are there because of mistakes they made. I’ve known people who have died tragically. I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I do know that God’s love is never-ending for each one of us. No one is left out of the flow of good fortune. There is health, happiness and prosperity for all, according to their needs.