Counting blessings

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis...

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If the only prayer you said was ‘Thank you,’ that would be enough.”  –Meister Eckhart

By Robert Mann

I haven’t sung the hymn in 20-plus years, but all day I’ve had it knocking around in my head: “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done!”

So, I’ll take that as God’s way of nudging me to do some accounting, and there’s no better time for it than Thanksgiving week.

So, I’m thankful:

For parents, who taught me about hard work and love and faith.

For a wife, who never ceases to amaze me with her wisdom and her capacity for love — for me, for our children and for those hurting and less-fortunate.

For a son and daughter, who delight me with their innocence and who still, at age 14, seem to enjoy being around their mom and me. (I usually have to kick one or both out of our bed at the end of the evening.)

For my church, First United Methodist Church of Baton Rouge, where I not only renewed my faith 20 years ago, but where I have made treasured friendships with so many people, young and old.

For my job, which I love more than any work I’ve done since graduating college, and my students who constantly remind me why that work is so important and satisfying.

For the simple comforts that so many in this world lack: a warm, safe place to sleep, indoor plumbing, clean water, enough food to eat, and decent health care.

For my health and the health of my family.

For in-laws who raised a fantastic person — my wife — and who sustain us with their love.

For mentors, who helped shape me into the person I am today. It’s dangerous, I know, but I’ll name a few: H. Lynn Russell (my high school principal), Dave Norris, Stan Tiner, Roger Guissinger, Richard Baxter, Bessie Cornelius, Clyde Taylor, Russell Long and John Breaux.

For many friends, who are devoted and true.

Finally, for many loyal and supportive readers, like you, who have encouraged me and cheered on my blog for these past 18 months. It’s been great fun getting to know you — a blessing, actually.

I hope you’ll continue reading and reaching out in the New Year.

I’ll close with this bit of wisdom from the ancient Roman philosopher Seneca:

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” 

Wishing you and yours a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Warmly,

Bob

 

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3 Responses to Counting blessings

  1. Stewart-gmail says:

    Very nice Bob. Just read to the whole family. We are thankful for the Mann’s! Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving!

    Stewart

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  2. Pat Faxon says:

    So well stated, Bob. In addition to many of the things you listed, I’m thankful for friendship with you and your family. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Pat

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