~ All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors ~ John Calvin
My young adult children enjoy going to the bank with numerous paychecks and depositing their money into both savings and checking accounts. I envy them sometimes, for my husband and I certainly cannot wait to deposit numerous checks. Instead we worry about looming car repair bills, vet expenses and other various “unexpectedness” that ensures every paycheck is automatically credited to our account.
This week I have been thinking about “divine deposits”, perhaps because I’m feeling DIRT POOR but more likely because I’ve experienced what it means to have someone deposit part of themselves into my life. No matter how hard things are in my life, I can always “count my blessings”. I’ve experienced financial crisis, loneliness, loss, fear, disability, heart break and depression; yet, I’ve never been completely bereft of blessings.
An old hymn once sung with some frequency before churches switched to more contemporary worship music, is entitled “Count Your Blessings” and written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. The first verse:
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Bing Crosby use to sing a song entitled, “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep”. The first verse, crooned by this music legend, is:
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I’m certainly a believer in considering the “good” and recognizing the power of blessings perceived. However, I believe John Calvin best described the REASON for our blessings. Blessings aren’t actually blessings unless we turn around and do something with them. If we simply receive a blessing and let it “sit in our soul bank”, the value of that deposit plummets.
So HOW Do I Bless Others?
Oh sure! Some people use anonymous gifts of money to be a blessing to someone else. However, I believe that blessings are rarely monetary. The cash value of blessings may be low, but the eternal value is considered priceless!
I recently stood in the hospital room of a dear lady dying of cancer. She could no longer speak because of the difficulty in breathing. Yet even in her pain-wracked body, you could see the yearning in her eyes to “give back” to those visiting her crowded hospital room. Each person who entered was greeted with a small smile, warm pat on the hand and dazzled by the twinkle in the eyes of this “walking blessing”.
I know of people who have adjusted to a life-changing, unexpected hearing loss, who cheerfully participate in the Walk4Hearing so that others can benefit from the local and national support of the Hearing Loss Association. Cochlear implant recipients often become mentors to others who are thinking about being surgically implanted with these bionics, or are new to “hearing again”. An investment is made in the life of someone else… an investment of time, advice, friendship, and understanding.
The trainers at Fidos For Freedom are volunteers. Countless hours of dedicated training and expertise are poured into every match of client and canine. The trainers are not paid for their work… at least not on THIS side of Heaven. I believe these compassionate trainers do what they do because someone else invested in them… they are simply “paying it forward”.
Who Are Your “Neighbors”?
“All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit our our neighbors.”
Sure, the neighbor that benefits from your own “dispensed blessings” may be someone who actually lives nearby. Yet a ‘neighbor’ is often someone you have never met. It is possible to even be a blessing without being consciously AWARE. This is the result of living a life in such a HABIT of kindness, that blessings just ooze from your pores and influence complete strangers!
“Pay it forward”. To whom, you may ask? Anyone you can! I’ll leave you with one of my favorite commercials:
© 2010 Personal Hearing Loss Journal