The opposite of miserable

February 4, 2013

Here is my favorite quote of the month.  I know, its only the 3rd, but this one will be hard to beat.

Jean Valjean  “…said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depth of his soul, for having permitted he, a miserable man, should be loved so much by this innocent being.”

The thoughts Viictor Hugo, as expressed by Jean Valjean have once again re-awakened in me a sense of supreme gratitude.

I have to admit that I agree with Upton Sinclair, who calls Les Miserables, “one of the half-dozen greatest novels in the world.”    I am re-reading it right now, having recently watched the movie.  As good as the movie was (is) it is a dim reflection of the most redemptive novel I have read.  And I read a lot.

One of the fascinations for me is Hugo’s ability to flesh-out flawed human being in a way that has you cheering for their redemption renovation, reclamation

So I read, sometimes only a few pages at a time, and I walk away refreshed, renewed.  To be sure,  I do not hold any novel, a mere work of fiction, in as high regards as I hold the Word of God, but as for works of men and women, It is my favorite.

Les  Miserables can be translated as The Miserable ones, The Wretched,  The Poor OnesThe Wretched Poor, or The Victims.  I find myself often, even on this current path, feeling that I am the exact inverse, the opposite of The Miserable Ones.  I am one of the fortunate Blessed Ones.

Every weekend, my wife write a posts which include a “Joy Dare.”  you can read about it here.  She lists at least seven things that she is grateful for.  I thought i should take a hint and do the same thing.

Sort of.

Here are the first 20 things that came to my mind for which I am grateful.  I was thinking I could write a paragraph for each of them, but decided to keep it brief.

  1. Diane –40 years of friendship and more
  2. 42 years of Faith,  I don’t remember the date, but I remember the moment
  3. house – warm and joy-filled
  4. cats – Yes we are crazy cat people
  5. parents – Still loving each other and still loving their kids after 60+ years
  6. friends, those nearby are not giving up on us
  7. friends,  those in NY have hung in through thick and thin
  8. and more friends,  in Michigan and beyond, faithful after decades
  9. health haven’t needed a doctor in 4 years – it would be even longer if I were not so clumsy
  10. wisdom– given whenever requested
  11. security not in a job, not in a career, but in something permanent
  12. my laptop -, and the ability to use it
  13. my reference books – for when I feel like thinking deeply
  14. my fiction books (Those I am reading) for when I don’t feel like thinking at all
  15. my fiction books that I am writing trying to keep my brain alive
  16. music for worship Gungor, Redman, Evans,Yoshonis
  17. music for relaxing  Mozart adagiosManheim Steamroller, Keaggy
  18. music for moving Rodrigo Y Gabriella, Bach, Brewster
  19. walks around my neighborhood   beautiful in every season
  20. Time to sit and ponder  Psalm 46:10 

Take the time to reflect on your amazing blessings.  You will find that it won’t take long to make a nice list.  At least if you are as un-miserable as I am.


So.  What are you grateful for today?  Start a list.


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