“Just to be, is a blessing. Just to live, is holy.” (Rabbi Abraham Heschel)
HOW TRUE those words are! Life truly is so much more than merely existing. As many sages have taught, it’s those moments when we grasp how blessed it is just to be alive, that life takes on it’s highest meaning, and holiest. If we’re wise, we’ll look for those moments every day.
Sometimes, of course, that’s hard to do. Blessed moments are notoriously difficult to grasp, no matter how hard we may chase after them. When I was much younger than I am now, I believed that every blessed moment must always be tied to certain, very specific events. Thus, as a child, I so looked forward to the day when I would finish with “elementary” school and finally make it to the “higher” grades…! As a teen, blessed moments would be mine only after I got my driver’s licence, or finished high school, or got my university degree, or found a really good job, or met the right girl, etc. Later, as an adult with a spouse and children and a home, true blessedness would happen only after our children had finished school and struck out on their own, or only after my spouse and I could finally retire, or only when the grandchildren began arriving etc…! How sad, and how foolish to think of all the truly blessed moments that were missed while working so hard at waiting for the next “blessed moment” to finally arrive!
How different are the teachings and promises of our God, whose Word assures us that each and every moment of life has it’s own blessedness, and can be found if we’ll take the time to look….! Rabbi Herschel might have said it once or twice, but in my New Testament are the words of another man, who offers us an entire sermon on how to discover true blessedness in each and every moment of living! He tells us about the blessedness that is found not only in moments of strength, but also in moments of weakness; blessedness in moments of joy, but also in moments of sadness and mourning; blessedness in moments of success, but also in moments of failure; blessedness in moments of light, but also in the hours of darkness…!
Dear ones, our Lord has a message for us: “Doubt not that God is with you, but be assured that in every moment of life, God IS and is able! Able to both shout and to whisper. Able to heal and to save. Able to surprise and to delight…!”
And to bring each of us to that point, time and again and as many times as it takes, for us to know with ever-growing certainty: “Just to be, is a blessing. Just to live, is holy!”
Thanks, dear readers, for this opportunity to share, with you, this most blessed moment!
(The Rev.) Stephen Haughland
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Chauvin, Alberta