So, it’s been about a month since I posted anything…I’ve been a bit busy this past month. Here’s what I was up to:
- Team preached with a good friend. It was awesome.
- Got married to an amazing woman, among amazing family and friends, in an amazing place – my family farm and the church I grew up in in Central Minnesota.
- Got a bunch of folks from my internship congregation (suburban) and myself to go to a Block Party in North Minneapolis.
- Went on a 10-day honeymoon through New England and Quebec.
- Went through the experience of my dementia-suffering mom going in and out of hospice. Close call.
- Got to preach on the Song of Solomon this past weekend at my internship congregation.
And just like that, the last year of my seminary journey started with classes today. And with that, I’ll start preparing for another wrestling season, trying to get that elusive National Championship that’s escaped me my whole life! So, I’m busy. I’m back at it…and I’d have it no other way!
So here’s my short thought: Something I struggle with is the notion of blessing. People – religious or not – are always talking about being blessed. I’m a bit more cynical – the whole blessing thing, well, isn’t my thing. It seems like something to say when things are going really good in life, you’re successful, properous, have abundance. It’s something people say who often live in denial of the world’s problems. It’s something people say out of jealousy – “I’m so blessed that I’m a person of faith…not like those suckers who don’t live right/are poor” or “those greedy, rich suckers who don’t help others/are self-centered.” Blessing just seems so cheap.
But this past month, I guess I’ve gained some new insight or something….because for one of the few times in my life – and I might even go as far to say as the first time – I feel blessed. My friend, an ordained pastor who presided over our wedding ceremony said these words, “Look around you, look at all these people here….you are not alone.” I AM NOT ALONE. There are people, whether I deserve it or not, whether I like it or not, whether I believe it or not…..who choose to be in relationship with me. These are people who love me for no other reason than they value our relationship; they see the best in me. For the first time in my life, I get what it means to be blessed…blessed to have meaningful relationships, relationships that are visible signs and reflect the relationship between myself and God.
Because our relationship with God is the same….this is a God, through Jesus Christ, chose to have a relationship with me. The promise from God is: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And while life may throw many uncertainties and trials along the way, to be blessed is to be loved by a God who does so for no other reason than I am a child of God. God sees perfection in imperfection. To place trust and faith in that….that is what it means to be blessed.
And so, I’m back at it…..blessed by God, blessed by the life and relationships I have with others. Blessed to be a blessing to others in this world. Thanks be to God, Amen!