Through my work in the healing ministry I often get the opportunity to talk with college students and recent grads. At this point in life (as well as perhaps many times throughout our lives) there is the question of what’s next? It seems that with this question, there comes with it a lot of worry or fear about finding one’s right place including – right employment and place to live. Sometimes this fear can lead us to some self-focused thinking, and a lot of “I” statements and questions…
- I want “x”… and I don’t want “y”.
- What can I get out of this job or what can I gain from it?
- How much will I make?
- What’s in it for me?
In these conversations, I’ve sometimes been lead to pose the question – “Have you thought about it this way perhaps – “how can I be a blessing?”” In other words, how can I best serve… God, my fellow man, my community, the world, etc.?
Often I find a light goes off for the person I’m chatting with… you can see the light break across their face and a weigh lift of their shoulders. Sometimes I’ve been met with the response – “Wow, I never thought of it that way.” Or “Hmmm, you know, I’ve really only been thinking about what’s in it for me, but that’s a good way to look at it.”
I found in one case, when the person and I chatted a week later, new possibilities were unfolding in a harmonious way that had not been there before or hadn’t been considered. And when one considers how one can be a blessing, then thought opens to new possibilities and ideas and a willingness to consider options that at face value may not seem in line with personal benefit. But the thing is, when we are willing to be a blessing, we cannot help but be blessed in return – as Mary Baker Eddy puts it:
“…whatever blesses one blesses all…”Science and heatlh with key to the scriptures
This was certainly the case when I lead a study abroad program in New Zealand with a group of college students. One of our goals of the trip was to be a blessing wherever we went. We found that in doing so, our thought was more open and aware of the people around us, and not so inward or self-focused. It allowed us to engage with others without thinking about what we might get in return. But the result was that people were more open with us and willing to share of themselves, and how can we not be blessed by that sharing?
In another instanced, I was helping a friend, who was moving back to the US from another country and needed to sell her car. We talked about how the car had been a blessing to her and her family and would be a blessing to the next family, and that seeing it as a blessing to be share rather than a mere transaction to get done and checked off the moving to-do list, we would see the situation unfold harmoniously. Well, it was getting down to the wire, time-wise, but we persisted in knowing the car would bless someone else. One night, just a few days before departing, there was a big storm that brought down trees and branches. The next day, we got a response to the add. A family was very much in need of a new car, because theirs had been crushed by a falling tree in the storm. My friend’s car was a perfect fit for this family’s needs. And in fact, the woman who was interested in purchasing the car said her father had worked overseas when they had been growing up and she was aware of all that needed to happen in a move such as my friend was doing. The woman offered to take the car “as is” without my friend getting it cleaned and “detailed”, as she had planned to do upon sale, for a slight reduction in the cost. It was certainly a blessing all the way around because it freed up much needed time on our end as well. The woman also offered to let us keep the car a couple more days, right up until the night before we were all headed to the airport. It all couldn’t have worked out more perfectly if we had planned it, and in fact even better than we had imagined, and everyone was blessed by the entire situation.
So how can you make decisions based on being a blessing or seeing the blessings all around you? And how are you going to be a blessing to those around you today?