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September 19th, 2017

On Being Blessed

By. G. E. Shuman
I’d like to know what you feel the real meaning of being ‘blessed’ is. I know what it means to me, but I have no idea what it might mean to you. You know, we use that word ‘blessed’, very casually sometimes. At least I know I’m guilty of doing that. In that regard, the word is like the word love. I love my wife and all my family members very much. I might also say that I love big fat mushroom bacon cheeseburgers. I’m sure you see my point.

So, what about this word, ‘blessed’? So many people have told me that I am, truly, blessed with a great family. I could not agree more. All I need to do is walk around a store with our new granddaughter Nahla sitting in the seat of my shopping cart, and people literally approach us and comment about her beautiful face; her striking eyes, her great smile, every single trip. (She does look a bit like her grandad.) And I’m so proud of my kids, the other eleven of our twelve grandkids, and our brand new great granddaughter, Londyn. Wrap that all together with having the world’s best and most dedicated wife, a great upbringing with my five siblings by loving parents, and it just couldn’t get much better. I am, and always have been, very blessed. I have not always appreciated that fact.

One of my doctors, very recently as I was expounding, (perhaps a bit too much,) about some great accomplishment or other of one of my kids, told me that I was very lucky. He then actually paused, looked momentarily at the ceiling of his office, and said that as soon as he said the word ‘lucky’, he knew it was the wrong word to use. I then told him that my wife and I consider ourselves to be blessed. His immediate reply was that we really are blessed. Then he said: “It’s good to be blessed, but it’s even better to realize that you are.” I consider that to be a very profound statement, by a very wise man.

So, please allow me to ask once more what the word ‘blessed’ means to you. It may mean nothing, very little, or very much to you. For some, the words ‘bless you’ are nothing more than something to say when someone sneezes. I don’t think that quite covers what it truly means to have someone ‘bless’ you.

Two short dictionary definitions of the word ‘bless’, when used as a verb, are as follows:

“To bestow good of any kind upon,” and “To protect or guard from evil.” Those definitions are the right ones to describe how I feel about this idea of being blessed. That is because for me to have good bestowed upon me, there simply must be a ‘bestow-er’. To be protected or guarded from evil also absolutely implies the presence of a ‘protector’ or a ‘guardian.’

Yes, I have been greatly blessed with family and friends, and with many other things, as have you. For just one example, you and I live in the freest, richest, most wonderful country on planet earth. I have never felt that I am at all deserving of that. This is, I know, because I really am not deserving of it. Yet, I am here, as are you. We are blessed.

Coincidentally, or not, you are likely reading this column either on Independence Day, or at least during the week following it. Please take some time to honor in your heart the men and women who fought to bring that independence and freedom to our great land, and for those who have since sacrificed to keep us free. Love your family, appreciate your country, fly your flag, and count your many other blessings this week.

I am well assured and convinced of who my bestower of blessings, protector, and guardian is, and I thank Him for His blessings, every day. I hope you do also.

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