Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Seven Great Gifts in LIfe

The Seven Great Gifts in Life.
Lessons from fifty years of minister
and twenty years of prison ministry.

Question yesterday from an inmate:
Can anyone recognize and accept these?
A. Yes, it is never too late, with God.

1. Life itself. An accident of love. I did not have to happen. I already won a great lottery at Brith. A story...

2. My mother’s love. Men do not know that material love does not come with the package at birth. A mother’s love emerges from caring for this infant who can only eat, sleep and poop.
Another story...

3. Understanding of the preciousness, singularly and uniqueness of this one life that has been given to each, to me, totally undeserved. A story.

4. Gratitude. Appreciation of the undeserved gifts of live and love that one has been given. Another story..

5. Faith. Another undeserved gift that cannot be bought or obtained by human effort. Honoring this as the gift that can transform everything. Another story.

6. My Brokenness. Awareness of oneself as a flawed and wounded person. This is critical to appreciation and escaping from one’s own bubble. Otherwise words of Amazing Grace hymn are only words. This is the great blessing in disguise.

7. Giftedness. A sense of the giftedness of everything. Nothing had to happen the way it did. Most all of these gifts are undeserved, cannot be earned, only accepted, embraced and employed in order to own and bless them by one’s own love and gratitude. Stories connected with each gift can facilitate this welcoming.

Interestingly, research by Robert Emmons over many years supports the view that humble gratitude is the secret to happiness as well as to health, healing and general wellness.
His latest book is called, simply Thanks. See Amazon. This is congruent with my own research project of collecting factors contributing to longevity and body/mind/spirit wellness.

Paschal
Noblesse Oblige. Tikkun Olam
April 19, 2010

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