There’s a song we sing at church sometimes titled Count Your Blessings. It’s not as fancy or specific as the similarly titled Irving Berlin song, but around 4:15 this morning, after several hours of walking at Relay for Life, one line came to my mind in a flash:
Count your many blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
So I did. And I was.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous. After a week that started with heat advisories and a 115 degree heat index, followed by thunderstorms, I was worried about the unpredictable Nebraska summer weather. But yesterday, the temp maybe reached 80 degrees at its hottest, the humidity couldn’t have been more than 40-50%, and I wore a sweatshirt from 2-7 AM because it was chilly. Even the bugs seemed to disappear around 2 or 3 AM.
I work with some amazing people that I get to call my friends. The long night offered many opportunities for conversations that ran the gamut of human experience. I marvel, every time I move somewhere, that I’m so lucky to find the friends that I do.
I wasn’t tired. I started to get a headache around 1, so I took some magic Advil, drank a Dr. Pepper, stretched, ate something, and hit the track again about an hour later. At 3 AM, despite the music the DJ was playing, and despite the Morrissey I was listening to on my iPod, I had a near-tangible impression that I wouldn’t be sleeping at the site–furthermore, I wouldn’t need to.
This impression was the catalyst that led me to the song. As I walked (and walked, and walked, and walked), I realized that while Relay for Life was something that I wanted to do, I hadn’t asked God for any help at all. Not that I meant not to, just that it hadn’t occurred to me that it was something that might require abilities beyond my own.
It was one of the few moments in my life where I realized God is so aware of all of us, that sometimes when we don’t even ask for His help, He gives it to us just because. I’m not sure I should have been able to walk 10.5 miles on very little sleep, and not feel extreme fatigue in the process. There’s just no way I did it on my own.
In the hours since I’ve been home, the blessing count continues: all of my friends who donated, air conditioning, food, family that helped me unload my car since I could hardly walk, a comfy bed, and magic Advil.
The best blessing of all? Seeing my dad in the Survivor walk wearing his purple shirt and doo-rag, celebrating 10 years since his first cancer diagnosis. I hope he has many more Survivor walks in his future.
If you would still like to donate to Relay for Life, click on the link to the left. Donations for the 2009 Relay are accepted until August 31. If you do donate $20 or more, you will receive 10 handmade cards. Thank you to those who donated, and your cards will be in the mail this week!