November 5, 2021

It’s All Good / Patti Lamb

Reflect on the blessings God showers on you each day

Patti LambRecently, I found myself enjoying a particularly good day, and I was counting my blessings and thanking God.

First, on my way to work, I was behind a giant dump truck on the interstate and multiple rocks pelted my windshield. I was certain there would be multiple cracks.

Much to my surprise, however, I discovered no cracks on my windshield when I arrived to campus and surveyed the damage. I had been doing mental math in my head during my commute to estimate how much the damage would cost. What a win! “Praise God from whom all blessings flow,” I whispered as I breathed in a slow, deep breath of relief.

Later that morning, I looked at the date and realized an important school application my son was to submit was due the day prior. I frantically texted my son, and he replied with “All is well. I submitted that form a week ago.”

“What?” I thought to myself. I have to remind him to load his dishes in the dishwasher, take out the overflowing trash and pick up dirty laundry strewn about his room. He followed through on his own, without me nagging him. I raised my eyes up to God and said a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

And then came the meeting that was seemingly impossible to schedule. A critical and time-sensitive meeting had to happen between a college dean, a vice president and several other staff members who were planning vacations in the days to come. I looked at every possibility and decided there was no way to get these people together for even 30 minutes. Noticing my repeated sighs, a co-worker kindly introduced me to the dean’s administrative assistant. She was able to move one meeting on his calendar, which gave us a 30-minute window later that day before two staff members left for fall break.

“A blessing trifecta,” I prayed silently. “Thanks again, God,” I added.

That afternoon, a friend forwarded me a screen shot of a social media post by a schoolmate of ours from years past. (I should share that I’m the only inhabitant of Earth who doesn’t participate in social media.) It was an extremely flattering photo of our former classmate posing with an impressive birthday gift from her generous husband.

The screen shot included a comment someone posted: “Winning at life, gorgeous. Happy bday!”

This former classmate who is “winning at life” is the same woman who played some very unkind tricks on me in college.

In that moment, I admit that I became envious and felt insecure. Here I was having a fantastic Thursday, yet all the blessings I had been thanking God for that day suddenly felt insignificant. I allowed that one little square of social media to reframe my blessings, and that was not a good move on my part. I was ashamed at my reaction and sorry for the way it probably made God feel.

A quote from Theodore Roosevelt sprang to mind: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

In a month when we pause to appreciate our blessings and celebrate Thanksgiving, I thought this experience was worth sharing. I don’t want you to miss all the blessings God is showering upon you—like I almost did that day, when I foolishly rated my blessings among my peers instead of staying in my own lane.

A quote by Nitin Namdeo says it well: “Two humans are completely different from each other; comparing them is like insulting nature.”

What blessings do you notice today?

(Patti Lamb, a member of St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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