If you count blessings often, you know they are endless. If you keep your eyes peeled for them like a scout of God, you see them everywhere. You see a blessing when someone who was terribly sad starts to feel better. You see a blessing when you think you’ve done something so awful that no one could forgive you in a million years, and then somebody does. You see a blessing when some somebody who could start a war decides not to, or when someone who was kicked out of his family or church finds welcome in a congregation like this one.
You see a blessing when a dying person is surrounded by people who have loved her all her life because she gave so much love to them. Or when somebody finally gives up trying to prove they are wonderful, or smart, or right, or some other silly thing that other people don’t care all that much about anyway. You see a blessing whenever people value and love others in this world as much as they value and love themselves. And you see a blessing, a really big one, when we obey God’s call to get up and go where God wants to send us, if not on an outward journey, which is not always what God has in mind for everyone, at least on an inward journey, which is often the hardest journey of all, and meant for everyone.
Where does the journey inward lead? To an unknown land, just like the outward journey does—only this unknown land is the land of ourselves, a place you’d think would be familiar to us, and a place that should be a cinch to get to. But to get to the land of ourselves is often as hard as getting over the Bourne Bridge by car on a summer weekend. It’s easier to row to the Galapagos than to leave worry behind and journey towards contentment; or travel from fear, anxiety, envy, regret, apathy, and bitterness, and arrive at destinations like safety, peace, gratitude, service, and forgiveness.
But if we take the risk and get up and go when God calls (which is all the time), the inward journey will take us to even bigger discoveries than we could find in the Galapagos. What’s bigger than giant lizards? We could discover that at our very core lies the best blessing of all, ourselves—the cherished and delightful persons that we are in God’s sight. God sends us to this land for our own good, so that by inhabiting it fully and well, dwelling in the pleasure God takes in us, some day we will not only count blessings, we will be a blessing for others and the whole wide world.