Nouwen continues a similar theme around choosing blessings or curses in our lives – its a message of what we are focusing upon. Today he has a beautiful line as he closes the devotional:
Jesus came to bless us, not to curse us. But we must choose to receive that blessing and hand it on to others. Blessings and curses are always placed in front of us. We are free to choose. God says, Choose the blessings!
I came across this walking to church the other day and thought it really captured a good sense of what Nouwen is looking at. The blessings/curses thing is an either/or. Its not finding how something is a blessing or a curse, but instead making a decision of how we will experience something or how we will work to frame our world. Are we living in a world of blessings surrounding us or curses that are ever-present?
Birthdays are one place that people often see the blessing or the curse. “I’m getting older” “I’m over the hill” “I’m not a kid anymore.” With my most recent birthday, I am trying to focus on making a choice to view each day through the lens of blessing. Where are the blessings of each day? I can look back on 40+ years and be thankful for where I am today. I don’t give thanks for every circumstance that has happened over those years, but I give thanks for where I have come in my life today. Are there areas that I would like to be different? Absolutely. But I can also see many blessings around me and for that I am thankful.