Count your blessings one at a time


A story is told of a young American son to a great vocalist and missionary. Throughout his childhood the boy appreciated and admired the way the father sang. The father’s music was so impressive that it inspired multitudes to give their lives to Christ.

The young boy wished for the day he would be as gifted as his father.

This longing led him to mimick the father, but definitely he did not impress or grow to the same level of expertise and perfection, something that caused him great disappointment.

The boy only mastered the art of writing songs, for he could not sing as well as the father did.

At the age of 36, the young man, Johnson Oatman, realised that his gifting was in writing songs, not singing. From then on he came to terms with this reality and concentrated on what he did best, writing songs.

In 1897, Johnson Oatman penned the legendary hymn “Count Your Blessings, name them one by one”. 

Some folks spend enormous amounts of time thinking of how less unfortunate they are in comparison to their peers, colleagues, supervisors, or even subordinates.

They concentrate on analysing how their colleagues are more beautiful or handsome than they are, have more, are more educated, are more peaceful, are richer, or more blessed!

Little do they stop to reflect on how differently they are blessed themselves.

Ingratitude has far reaching social-emotional effects. Being ungrateful hurts and leaves deep cuts in the memory of an individual, causes uncalled for regret, creates an atmosphere for depression, and subsequently can even lead to health complications.

I dare you to get a piece of paper now or pull out your tablet and list the blessings God has showered upon your life since childhood.

You will be surprised at what the Lord has done. The gift of life, salvation, family, parents, relatives, education, health, authority and resources under your control, employment, food, shelter, clothing, accommodation, continue the list as long as your memory can be of help.

Even the small ones – like the opportunity to read this article at such a time—please include them. It will surprise you what the Lord has done and you will be singing as the days go by.

The writer is the executive assistant to the Vice Chancellor