This is a phrase I hear a lot of these days –over the phone, at the Walmart checkout station, and sometimes at odd places- at a traffic cross-walk or while filling my car with gasoline, to name a couple off the top of my head. I’m not sure why this phrase is such a popular one, and I am beginning to feel that it is overused as well as used as an excuse for something else (I’m not sure what). It is something to ponder as I collect my thoughts on this subject.
Whenever I would get down in the dumps or think my world was caving in on me, my daddy would say to me, “Jennie Lou, you need to count your blessings.” I’m sure the basis for this was from one of his favorite hymns, “Count your many blessings, count them one by one…” And the funny thing was, when I would actually begin counting my blessings, the things that bothered me seemed to pale with each blessing I recalled. He had the idea of blessings right, in my opinion.
And then, there were the bedtime prayers, and all of the “God blesses” I would recall as I prepared for my night’s sleep. When I thought about other people and asked God to bless them, it relaxed me, took my mind off of myself, and helped me drift off into dreamland. This ritual has followed me from childhood until today, as I daily remember those who are special to me or who are in need, and ask God to bless them.
My life has thrown many lemons my way, and I have been semi-successful in making lemonade from them. There have been times when I thought I had no blessings in my life, and it took sheer will power and courage to pull myself together to begin counting my blessings. These have been the times when I remember my daddy’s words, “Count your blessings” and set my sights on how many blessings I could count.
But, getting back to the subject at hand, the phrase, “Have a blessed day.” It makes me wonder if the people who say this to me think that some days aren’t blessed. Do we have days when there are no blessings? Do they think that I need to be blessed in some manner? Am I lacking in blessings? Why do I need to be urged to have a blessed day? Perhaps they say this as a reminder to both me and to themselves that each day has blessings in it. I’m not sure about this – I tend to believe that it has become such a little catch phrase, it is often expressed without any thought being put into it at all.
One of the clients at the kennel where I work always has criticism for the way we do things, the care we give her pups when they board with us, and just about anything she can think of to complain about. I can always count on a phone call after she gets home with her pets to tell me what we did wrong. And then, she ALWAYS ends the phone conversation with “Have a blessed day.” I wonder if she ever considers how blessed she is that we are available to give her little dogs such good and loving care while she is on vacation. I also wonder if she realizes that her phone calls to me are not blessings in any way whatsoever!
I have to admit, I am tiring, and even getting a little irritated, whenever someone wishes me a blessed day. I would much rather hear “have a wonderful day”, “enjoy your day”, or even a simple “have a nice day.” I feel that I am blessed every moment of my day, from the moment I wake up today until the moment I wake up tomorrow. My blessings are too many to be counted or trivialized. God doesn’t need us to tell each other to have a blessed day. God needs us to talk to him about our blessings and thank him for them.
And now as I step down from my soapbox, I have some counting to do.