I wish I had a porch swing.
It’s on the list of things I want. Along with a catalog of other randomness, other worldly nonsense, that I think might increase the joy I feel each day. Fueling the lie that more stuff equals more joy. And yet the list remains, embedded as a checklist behind the grocery list, complete with a kitten, a cleaning service, Bluetooth in my car, laser hair removal, hair extensions (irony) and professional teeth whitening.
Why do I wish for those things?
In church this morning we talked about the word blessed. What it means and what it doesn’t. How we use it and misuse it in conversation. How our misuse reinforces what is “good” and what we strive to attain. How easy it is to put the stuff we have or or the stuff we want, like a porch swing, in the category of blessings. Why we ask, why won’t God bless me with the things on my list?
Pretty sure that when Jesus was creating his “blessed” list it didn’t include a porch swing. Or even a porch. Or the house it might be attached to for that matter. He wanted us to wish for other things. Things we can’t buy. Things we give. He wanted us not to wish for any thing, but for an opportunity to give. To give our very selves. Because that’s where the purpose comes in. The love comes in. The joy and blessing come in the form of the giving.
I can try to rationalize my porch swing. If I had it then someone could sit on it with me. And we could share a moment, a conversation, and in that moment be a blessing to each other. But I don’t need to wait for a porch swing for that. It’s just my excuse for not reaching out sooner. I’ll reach out and be a blessing to someone else when…
- I finish the redecorating the guest bedroom
- the business expands and he can work less
- it finally stops raining so the drive will be easier
- the big meeting is over and my project at work is approved
I don’t know what your porch swing is. But stop waiting for it. It’s not the point to this life. And its not necessary to be the blessing someone else needs.
You can be a blessing while the kids are still at school or at home. While you’re paying off the debt or waiting for the raise. While you’re trying to lose the weight or weighing whether or not to move. The completion of the thing, the change of the circumstance, is not necessary to be the blessing someone else needs. To be the blessing you need.
I don’t know what “middle class” means anymore or if any of us define it the same, but for many of us, if you can read this, you’re not in the middle. You’re toward the top. Because you can read. Because you have access to the internet in some fashion that gives you access to this. And despite where you fall in the spectrum of income, of possessions, of available services, you have these opportunities in front of you. You can choose to take whatever you have and share it. Your stuff, your food, your time, your smile, your… self.
And honestly, this might be hard because you might be waiting for someone to be a blessing to you. Needing someone to be your blessing. Your answered text or phone call. Your reply to a job posting or interview. Your invite to dinner or drinks. Your offering to cover a bill or forgive a debt.
Consider being a blessing until you get your porch swing. Be an answered prayer to someone else. That’s how the sun feels after the rain. How a glass of water feels after a run. How a hug feels after a loss. How a smile feels when you think you’re invisible.
The secret to being blessed… is to be the blessing. I can’t offer you a porch swing, but I can offer you a chair in the shade, a cold drink and a listening ear. And whatever you have to offer… I promise you… its enough.