My uncle is very skeptical about religion. He’s a critical thinker and a terrific writer. Recently he was telling me about a speech he gave at Toastmasters. In the speech, he asked everyone to imagine a day when nothing seems to go your way—you wake up with an aching neck, then trip over your son’s school bag in the hall. The bus to work is agonizingly slow and the man next to you is sucking his teeth. Just when you get one thing done at work, it’s replaced by three more and they’re all urgent. At lunch, they mix up your order, but you’re starving so you eat it anyway. After another painful commute, you come home exhausted to a screaming kid, an overwhelmed spouse, a dog that needs a walk, and the kitchen sink is leaking again.
Whenever my uncle feels this way, he puts himself in the “other guy’s shoes.” The guy struggling for food or water. The guy who needs a paying job, a roof over his head, or who desires a loving family. In other words, he counts his blessings and this brings things into perspective.
Counting your blessings is a great thing, but I worry about my uncle’s tendency to compare his life with others who are less fortunate. Comparison is a dangerous two-way street. This got me thinking deeper about the source of happiness. If I were to lose everything, like what happened to Job, would I also lose happiness? Would you?
As I pondered this story, I realized there’s one thing I could never lose. No one can take away my relationship with Jesus. No matter what happens in this life, my personal relationship with Jesus will never cease. It’s something that will be with me for eternity. And that is a blessing worthy of true happiness!
Brian is a Teleios member and sits on the Teleios Board of Directors