The exercise actually read, “Blind to the Blessing,” but that’s not what I read. I had been scanning through this month’s Soul Matters Packet, on Blessing, looking for inspiration for this month’s services and programs, when I read – or rather misread – these words – and I thought it sounded just right. We are bound up in our blessings, and our blessings are bound up in us. By the time I realized my mistake – it wasn’t bound, it was blind – I had already imagined the content and theme and the components of the service, the service that we will all be celebrating this coming Sunday, it turns out. (By the way, if you were with us last Sunday, you probably realized my other mistake when I hadn’t yet – the combined choir service will be next Sunday, May 8th, not this Sunday, the 1st – but go ahead and come early this Sunday anyway!)
I’ll save my reflections about the bound up part for this Sunday, but I am thinking about what the combination of my mistake and the actual words – bound, and blind – invite us to consider when it comes to blessings.
What are those blessings that are everywhere, that keep us going and that we keep going through our commitments and our promises, yet that are mostly invisible to us, that we take for granted or forget to acknowledge? I think of the sun coming up yet again, I forgot to see it this morning, and say thank you, did you? I think of my lungs that just keep on breathing, and my heart, still pumping, without much intention at all. And I think of all of the people who had to act just so, and at just the right time, and with just the right intention, such that my life brings me to this moment – that I have a life at all, that I am who I am.
In our lives broadly, and then each and every day, all across the world and this universe, there are so many things that happen – that work just perfectly and beautifully, that have nothing to do with our own effort, nothing to do with our intention or even our awareness. And to get quite specific, in our congregation, I think of all the things that just happen – without us totally realizing how it happens, or that even takes effort. Sometimes I am so amazed on Sunday to think of all the little things that had to occur just for that one hour to take place, and most of those things even I am mostly blind to. And yet I am bound by them, for them, and with them, and you.
Blessing is a word that’s somewhat overused today, and so it can end up feeling trite or meaningless. This month, I hope we manage to overcome this feeling, and wake up to truly see and feel how our lives overflow so many blessings – the blessing of our congregation and community, of this beautiful city and state that we live in, our lives, our family and friends, and for this moment as it is – yes, none of these may be perfect – but life isn’t ever going to be perfect. Waiting for perfect to feel the blessing is what keeps us blind to how much beauty there already is, how all of this is already a gift. Let us spend this month feeling this gift, and saying thank you.