Monday, I was talking on the phone with a friend while simultaneously trying to fit my week’s supply of milk into a very full refrigerator. With one hand holding the phone and the other hand working to rearrange the leftovers and eggs and dressings so that all of the milk jars would fit, I let out an exasperated, “Ugh! Why is my fridge always so FULL!?” My friend, in her loving and wise way said, “Well, when you consider the alternative…”
Huh. No kidding. Was I really just whining about having a refrigerator full of food? Shame on me.
Why is it so much easier to complain than to have a grateful heart? Why do we tend to complain and whine about things which are actually blessings?
We complain when the weather is so hot that we feel like we’ll melt and all we can do is long for cooler days – but come winter we’ll be complaining of the cold. If it’s raining, we’ll really want it to stop, but if it’s not raining, we’ll complain that everything is too dry. When the wind blows too hard, we complain that our hair is going to be messed up, but if there’s no breeze at all, we’ll complain about how still it is.
When we stand at our closet, trying to decide what to put on, we complain that we have nothing to wear – then later we’ll stand beside our piles of laundry thinking “woe is me” thoughts about all the clothes that need to be washed.
We complain about all the stuff all over our house that is causing clutter and making a mess – then we complain that we don’t have enough money to buy more stuff.
We complain when the roads are bumpy or full of pot holes, when the snow hasn’t been cleared well and when the streets need to be repaved – but talk to us about the taxes we need to pay in order for this to happen or the detours we’ll have to take so that the work can be done – and we’ll complain again even louder.
We complain that we never have time to ourselves and wish we could just get a moment’s peace without somebody asking us to do something or calling us on the phone – but when the phone is silent and we’re home alone, we wonder why we feel lonely.
We complain about all kinds of things we have no control over and seem to think that maybe complaining might help us feel better, but instead, it just makes us grumpy. We complain about all kinds of things we DO have control over, but really just wish we didn’t have to put forth the effort to make the changes happen.
I’m glad Jesus wasn’t a complainer – can you imagine? “I wish all these needy people would just leave me alone for a change and stop asking for miracles – they’re wearing me out. And this fish – can’t we find something to eat besides fish for a change? And for goodness sake, could someone please get me something other than a rock for a pillow?”
Complaining is an easy habit to get into and a hard one to break. Ha! Something else to complain about. ;)
Or, how about we all work together on being grateful and make a conscious effort to stop complaining?
Think of the peace we could all have if we just decide to stop complaining.
We are blessed! Be grateful!