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“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb,and naked shall I go back again.The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;blessed be the name of the LORD!” Job 1:22
In the immediate aftermath of Job's hearing about the loss of his property, his herds, his children and their families, he blesses the Divine One, the source of all he has and has now lost. In the gospel reading from Luke, Jesus gently rebukes the disciples arguing about who is the greatest with another expression of the great reversal in the Christian view of life: The one who is least is the greatest and the one who is greatest is the least.
How difficult it is for me to separate the "blessings" in my life from the fundamental blessing of life. Typically when I or others in my life say we are blessed, we are referring to all those aspects of our lives that make us feel comfortable, safe and secure: health, financial resources, regard from others, education, leisure, loving relationships, etc. What if all those and more were taken away? Would we still feel blessed? Would we still feel that the Divine One is a loving source of our very life? How difficult that would be! It is difficult to contemplate but it is almost impossible to conceive until we do in fact lose all those things, which we ultimately do.
To the extent that my sense of being blessed is based on the circumstances of my "fleshly" life, I am walking a path of deception and delusion. My struggle is to come to terms with the fact that I am blessed with life--no matter its circumstances. By virtue of luck and chance, I live an affluent and comfortable life but that is a deception if I think I am blessed with that life. In many ways that life can be a curse because it can so easily distract me from the fundamental reality of life.
I struggle to live a life of engaged and passionate indifference in a culture that is drenched and dripping with marketing and media that urge ever greater consumption of material things. It even goes so far that immaterial things--knowledge, love, happiness--become transformed into things to be consumed. Prayer is the only way out of this. Spending time with the Divine One in whatever way that is possible for me is the path to a life of true blessedness and non-delusion.