"And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing." - Ezekiel 34:26
There are a lot of ways we be blessings to others daily?
We can be a blessing or we can be a blight.
It's our choice every day and every time.
Just like our attitude is our choice each and every morning we wake up and get out of bed, being a blessing is also a choice.
We can be blessings to people we've never met or may never see agin.
Hold the door for as long as it needs to be held.
Say "thank you" and "please."
Say "sir" and "ma'am."
Put shopping carts where they are designed to go instead of where you feel like leaving them.
Collect the shooping carts in a timely manner so they are waiting for us when we walk through the doors.
Park between the lines at Aldi's.
Use your turn signal.
Move up and left so the car behind you can turn right.
Don't use your cell phones while at a counter, checking out at the store or in line (I don't want to hear your conversation and you don't want to hear mine).
When someone says "have a nice night" your answer is "thank you, you too."
Have a personality when you work in the customer service industry.
"He must increase, but I must decrease." - John 3:30
During the summer, a free throw shooting contest was held at Compton High School in Los Angeles. The winner of the contest won $40,000 in scholarship money to college.
The winner from the eight participants was Allan Guei.
Three months after winning, Guei, headed to Cal-State Northridge on a full basketball scholarship, donated all the money to the seven other finalists.
"I've already been blessed so much and I know we're living with a bad economy, so I know this money can really help my classmates," he said in a release from the school. "It was the right decision."
The requirement to be involved in the contest was owing a GPA of 3.0 and above. The eight finalists were chosen at random of nearly 100 applicants.
"What he has done is exceptional, just like Allan," said organizer Court Crandall. "Like any young people, whether it's my kids or someone else's, you hope they are given opportunities to show what they can do. These Compton High grads have a lot of talent. They have a lot of drive, and I wish them all the best."
Being involved in athletics, or an extra-curricular activity, is a blessing. It's not a right.
Getting an education is a right.
Being a member of the band, the drama team, the debate team, the chess club, the soccer team, the basketball team or the track team is a privilege.
Now, how can we be blessings in those capacities?
Be on time.
Have great attitudes going into, during and after practices.
Be good in class.
Make sure that fight in the hall doesn't happen.
Listen - you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Turn your homework in on time.
Spend extra time working on your craft.
Carry someone's books to class.
Lock a locker for a teammate.
Do what the coach, teacher asks.
Shut up and play the game.
Be a good teammate.
Teach, don't insult.
Understand it's not all about you.
Mentor a child.
Just because you're the lead does not excuse being a diva.
Lift others up.
"Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." - James 3:10
Then there is what we do at home.
It's not easy being blessings to our families because we are around them the most and, unfortunately, take them for granted far too much.
So, how can we be blessings within our four walls?
Do the dishes.
Vacuum the house.
Get up on time.
Clean up after the pet.
Mow the neighbor's lawn.
Clean the table.
Take out the garbage.
Of course we can do all these things before being asked for the 52nd time.
We don't need to curse the fact it is 6 a.m. and school has started again - time to get up.
Kids, there is no law that says mom has to wash your dirty, smelly athletic clothes - especially if you don't put them in the right place.
Clean your room - especially all your athletic gear.
Athletics is a perfect place to forget the blessings we have.
We are allowed to play in or coach a game. We are allowed to influence athletes to find a different side of them, in many occasions, a side of them they really never knew existed.
That is a blessing in itself.
Another blessing is to see the athletes' eyes light up when they get it.
Arlia has a broken leg and two broken ribs. I would expect that he will be redshirted, giving him four more years of eligibility left.
We talk here all the time about never being guaranteed what tomorrow brings.
Finally, it took me exactly one day - one - to choke on the front page of Sunday's paper.
Yep, that was me.
I will continually strive to get better.
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org).