Blessed, I’m Blessed!

blessedEarly in my career, I worked with a salesman named Ace. He was the top salesman in the company and took great pride in winning every sales contest the company would offer.  Often, he would take me with him on sales calls and not only were we a successful team, but we had fun too!

One of the things I remember about Ace was his answer to the several-times daily question, “Ace, how are you?”

“Blessed,” he would say enthusiastically, “blessed.”

I use to think that was a strange answer.  After all, everyone else would respond with, “fine,” “O.K.,” “ good,”  “alright” or some other nondescript answer.  But blessed, no one ever said blessed!

Not only did it seem strange, but what did he mean by blessed?  The dictionary has several meanings for the word.  As an adjective one of the meanings is: bringing happiness, pleasure, or contentment. Another is: characterized by happiness or good fortune or still another: bringing great happiness or good fortune.

In the gospel of Matthew 5:3-10, at the beginning of the “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus in almost poetic language tells us who is blessed;

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”   Matthew 5:3-10

Wow!  You’ve got to be in pretty good company when you think of the beatitudes. Yet isn’t that what we all should be striving for, to be blessed?

When I think of all the good fortune, happiness and contentment that the Lord has given me, I feel blessed.  Blessed in so many ways!

Maybe getting older has some effect on things, but as I get older I am more grateful, and thankful for a forgiving and understanding God.  Thankful, that God accepts me as I am, with all my faults and flaws.  I’m grateful, that he continues to bless me with good health, happiness, a loving wife, great kids, and loyal friends.

When you think about it, Ace had the best answer to the question, “How are you?”  From now on, when anyone asks me “How are you, Tony?”  I’ll answer with an enthusiastic, “Blessed!”  And I’ll thank my old pal Ace for the life lesson.