Watch for ‘blessings unaware’

I believe that blessings come in many forms, and recently, two incidents have shown me once again
how true that is.
It seems since Sept. 11, there has been a higher degree of unrest and uncertainty than ever more. And even though
our own little town is in some ways removed from the intense impact of nine months ago when terrorists brought
down the World Trace Center in New York City, I think we can all still safely say that few of us have totally
escaped the aftermath of that fateful day.
Certainly, if you read news publications or watch television, you cannot help but feel the consequences which
continue even today as a result of that horrible event in history.
And, of course, we are experiencing intense unrest in several key areas of the world, including the Holy Land.
With all the turmoil, it is not hard to wonder if our topsy-turvy world will ever quite right itself.
However, in the last few weeks, I have been impressed and encouraged by two simple events. I call them blessings
unaware.
The first was an article in our local newspaper and the second was the recent observance of the National Day of
Prayer.

The article, entitled “Student essays honor lives that make a difference,” featured topics by six middle school
students, whose teacher had asked her classes to write a one page essay about someone who had made an impact on
their lives. Of the 98 essays turned in, six were selected for publication in the local paper.
What so impressed me was the fact that of the six essays, three of the young authors cited God or Jesus as making a
difference in their lives, and the other three named family members.
All the stories were well-written. And obviously the students had given a great deal of time and thought to the
subjects they selected, but what I found particularly encouraging was that not one student wrote about a celebrity.
No one cited a sports figure or popular singer. There were no movie stars, rap stars, television actors or actresses,
teen models or adolescent heart throbs.
That is not to say that students didn’t write about these subjects in any of the other 92 essays, and that’s also not to
say there is anything wrong with that if they did. But I do find it uplifting to know that family and religion have
apparently made positive impacts on our young people. And I especially appreciated their sharing that information
with the public. I also applaud their teacher for giving the students an opportunity to make their feelings known.
The National Day of Prayer observance this past spring was another event that gave people an opportunity to express
their feelings. As prayers were voiced for our country and government, community, churches, family, home, the
poor, sick and bereaved, it was a blessing to be surrounded by people of varied denominations and religious beliefs
who had come together as a united community of believers.
The observance was sponsored here by the Kiwanis Club and the Ministerial Alliance, and their efforts brought
together a roomful of residents who shared a common goal: to ask for God’s blessings and His protection. And I
have no doubt, He heard each petition.
Blessings often come upon us when we least expect them. We just have to open our hearts to recognize these
“blessings unaware.”
From our archives, 7/13/02

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