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Basking in the Blessings.

Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians, and he seemed to be in a good mood. He received a goody package from the Christians in Philippi, mentions strong friendships that surround him who are committed to the end, gets to show Christ in the household of Caesar, and looks forward to joining his fellow Christians soon. All this happiness takes place in a Roman prison. Allow me to describe a Roman prison. They were hostile, filthy, death and disease traps. The Romans did not provide food, water, medical care, or internet services. It was about the worst place to be on the planet. How does Paul feel happiness in this place? Joy is not the absence of pain. Joy is basking in the blessings.

Running the marathon at midday, in the heat, with all the hills, will beat you up. The course of Boston has no mercy. Yet, I had the greatest experience. There were people four deep cheering all the way, volunteers handed out water every mile, and I was treated as a rock star. When I crossed the finish line, I wished every human being could experience, just once in their lives, the euphoria that I felt. I was basking in happiness.

I was having lunch with Fr. Sean, my colleague, and he asked me, “Do you really like running?” I replied, “Of course not, are you crazy. I have to get up early while you all sleep and then run in the cold and rain. I am uncomfortable during the entire run and can’t wait to finish. After the run, I feel muscle pain all over.” He exclaimed, “Then why do you run?” I explained, “Running is like attaching a valve to your body, and all the anxiety, worries, and poison that fill your body due to hard times pours out of you. I feel a great sense of peace, I sleep great at night, I can eat anything and not gain a pound, I am in the best shape of my life, and I feel energy and work as if I am at my A-game. I bask in happiness, which is precisely the point. No matter where you are, or what you are doing, or how difficult it may be, you always have some blessings that you can enjoy.

Before Jesus died on the Cross, He prayed to His Father. The prayer was His death wish. He promised, “I will do this, I will die and save the world on one condition–that thy may have joy to the fullest, all the time. If we really want to make God happy, then we will be the answer to that prayer. No matter what we are going through, we will live our lives basking in the blessings because they will always be there. 

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