“When upon life’s billows
You are tempest-tossed;
When you are discouraged
When your all is lost.
Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done.”
I’m thinking about the song “Count Your Blessings” because it conveys a powerful idea that you (and I) don’t internalize as much as we should.
The idea is to think about all the things we are grateful for; the blessings we’ve received. It’s most important to do this in otherwise unhappy of unfulfilled moments.
Like me, I was just sitting here in my NYC apartment, and it struck me. We have the heat on, and it’s about 20 degrees F outside. That is really something to celebrate. Do you realize how great it is to not have to worry about warmth for self and family?
I know next to nothing about HVAC systems. The heater is humming right now, but furnaces go out all the time. If ours was broken, my wife would look at me, I would look at the landlord, but if it couldn’t be immediately fixed, we’d just be sitting in the cold. Maybe we’d be complaining, but hopefully, we’d keep counting the other blessings we still had.
So a comfortable home is just one blessing. I also have food, nice clothes, growing income streams, special abilities that make me stand out in the crowd, a stable family, basic good health, and much more.
My list is not the same as anyone else, though there may be some overlap. It’s good to stay in this frame of mind because it fosters gratitude, and gratitude is one of the few postures that is appropriate in every situation.