Blessed Be You

Black Man Praying

By James Washington
Special to the NNPA from The Dallas Weekly

The more I travel life looking towards the eternal and not the physical, the notion of blessings gives me pause to think just how miraculous they are. If we’re not careful, life will steal the beauty of these gifts from god. I mean haven’t we all been taught at one time or another that it’s better to give than receive? Kindness and goodwill should be a given from all of God’s children, Christian or not. Forgiveness and mercy should be a staple of the Christian diet. The result, many people believe, is a reaping of unimaginable rewards for a life spent giving with little to no expectation of getting in return.

Then life, as we know it, takes over and at a very early age we learn that life is cruel, unpredictable and the only reliable factoid we can count on is that one’s kindness will be taken for weakness and your generosity will be viewed as foolish. 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 give a damn about you. Been there, done that. It is the source of many a good person turning bad because people will protect themselves. They will survive. We all eventually learn how to navigate a world, in which we come to believe that nice guys do finish last, takers succeed and in order to win, cheating is definitely in order.

Now comes scripture, with this notion that giving is always better than receiving. I thought about this real hard and realized you don’t know what kind of mother or father you’ll be until you have children. You can’t know what kind of friend you’ll be until you are one. You cannot know the depth of your ability to give love until you’re head over heels in it. My point is you can’t really know yourself as a human being until you genuinely share your life with someone without fear, without restrictions and without conditions. For many this is tough territory because life and people have been cruel to us. However, only by being a friend will 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 really know and appreciate being a blessed.

It doesn’t appear to work any other way. If you go through life existing based on a self-imposed set of criteria for love and friendship, then that’s what you’ll get; love and friendship with strings attached. You can’t expect your prayers to be answered if your prayer life starts and stops with gimme. We block countless blessings, if our prayers include no one but us and echo only our trials and tribulations. You see God shouldn’t have to ask what have we done for Him lately when all He asks of us is to remember to recognize we were made in His image; all of us. “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 we face the utter nonsense in this world with any kind of clarity. Be a blessing to somebody today, anybody.

May God bless and keep you always,

James,

jaws@dallasweekly.com

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