Irving Berlin wrote a wonderful song for the musical “White Christmas” that has a great deeper meaning in its light-hearted refrain:
If you’re worried and you can’t sleep,
Just count your blessings instead of sheep,
And you’ll fall asleep
Counting your blessings.
Sometimes it really pays to stop everything you are doing and start to count your blessings. We live in such a fast-paced lifestyle. It seems like the days are filled with endless things to do, places to go, meetings to attend, errands that must be done … . Makes your head spin just thinking about it, right? And then we start complaining as the stresses of day-to-day living take a toll on us.
I remember when my kids were growing up and I had their three schedules of activities to coordinate each day along with our school responsibilities. Scout meetings, dance classes, play rehearsals, school clubs, cheerleading practices … . It was endless. Any time that we had nowhere to go after school or on a weekend afternoon became a gift.
When faced with so many obligations and the accompanying worries, developing an attitude of gratitude can really turn our entire outlook around.
I had an extended conversation with a group of John Carroll freshmen the other day about how we need to put our cares into perspective by remembering all those who carry around a far greater load of worries and stresses. It led us to a great time of sharing about people who are jobless, others who have no homes, those with not enough money to feed their families, people who live in dangerous areas, and those who suffer from debilitating illnesses. These students agreed that the situations faced by many of their relatives and family friends which they mentioned were far more difficult than the worries and stressors they faced each day. It was a great conversation. We talked a lot about how greatly we are blessed. The opportunities afforded us are huge when we put them into perspective with many others who have far less.
So take some time today to count your blessings and you will find that your cares and worries will seem much less overwhelming. In counting our blessings may we always give our gratitude to our loving God, the source of all that is good. May an attitude of gratitude prevail in our hearts each and every day.
This day is full of beauty and adventure,
help me Lord to be fully alive to it all.
During this day, may I become a more thoughtful person,
a more prayerful person, a more generous and kindly person.
Help me not to be turned in on myself but
to be sensitive and helpful to others.
Let me do nothing today that will hurt anyone,
but let me help at least a little,
to make life more pleasant for those I meet.
When night comes, may I look back on this day without regrets;
and may nobody be unhappy because of anything
I have said or done or failed to do.
Lord God, bless this day for me and all of us.
Make it a day in which we grow a little more
like your Son, and gentle as Mary His Mother.
God is Good!! All the Time!!