Tuesday, March 03, 2009

fashionable complaining

It is so easy to get caught in the trap of "fashionable complaining". If you're not sure what I mean, you might have done it at some point - it's the type of thing that people at various places of work do when they see each other in the hall or at lunch. It seems competitive at times, to see who has the toughest job, or the least ability to cope because of all the extraneous things at home to take care of. Maybe you are thinking of someone right now, who, when they see you at work and answer the inevitable "How are you?" question, present you with a over-dramatized sigh and monologue bit that seems similar to the last time you checked in with them, but with slightly different details. Maybe you are realizing (like I did, at one point this past month) that you have begun morphing into that type of person, who tends to "gloom and doom" everything because you are just "way too busy for reason".

In reality, life is really not that hard. Yes, we are busy, but many of us have created that world for ourselves. Yes, there are things in our jobs or personal life that are difficult, but who ever said that this life would be rainbows with no worries or trials whatsoever? God has given the opportunities and the strength to lead you to fulfill the ones He gives you. Yet, so many of us complain about our work load or lack of time because of the blessings He has given us. How often do I sit in front of the TV instead of calling up a friend to chat and fellowship with? How often do I complain about my lack of sleep and proceed to stay up past 11 pm doing a lot of nothing? If God has truly given me this wonderful teaching job, and the ability to do so much for so many people, and I am wasting my energy by not taking care of my health, my mind, and my time. And then, I complain about the amount of time that the meaningful pursuits take...what am I really cherishing? Not God's work, that seems clear.

I think the first step to a new direction in attitude is prayer. If I take all the time that I spend complaining and put it into prayer, bringing my concerns, however petty, to God instead of to other people who will "yes" me all day - He will make clear my path. He will direct my thoughts, if I ask Him to separate the wheat from the chaff in what I take in day to day. He will give me the eyes to see what He has made me for and how to do it with a joyful heart, always rejoicing in the opportunity to do His work, even if I don't get to see the results.

Complaining is truly useless...fashionable complaining creats a community that stirs up gossip and trouble at every turn. Only God can solve things...so don't bring your troubles to those who will simply join in and agree with you about how crappy life is. Let's be the light that the world so desperately needs.

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