Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
Praying Hands, Peter Paul Rubens, c 1600
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
— Psalms 1:1-2
What does it mean to be blessed? We could take this idea to be elitist, and indeed many do. When we think we have the answer, have found the faith, sect or denomination that feels superior to all others it is easy to feel like one of the chosen, and to see all others as less than you and your peers. This applies not only to religion of course. Those who are accepted by the better universities, get the higher paid jobs, work for the cooler companies, rise up the corporate hierarchy, live in the wealthier neighbourhoods, send their children to private schools, have better cars, houses, gardens or bigger bank accounts can all see themselves as blessed. Today blessings are seen, mostly, in monetary form. But there's another way to view this.
Psalm 1 tells us that the blessed ones are the people who are discerning in who they take counsel from, being cautious not to be taken in by charlatans, loud-mouths, or those who would tempt us away from our integrity for short-term gain. The phrase delight is in the law of the Lord means (to me) doing what we know to be right, and holding fast to our values. It is when we stray from what we value that we are moving into sin—disconnection from truth, from God. No one is blessed all the time. This is a momentary thing, and can occur for anyone, in any group, at any time. Blessed is the state of turning towards truth. While the temptations of life pull us in the opposite direction so easily, these moments become very precious. To be blessed is to be true to oneself, and to those one loves.