Most of my life complaining came very easy to me. I could always pick out the flaw in ANY given situation. Yeah so what if I made straight A’s in school, someone else made 100’s on everything. As I got older the scenarios changed but the propensity was still there- yes I had a good job but there is probably a better one out there. Sometimes the job grates on my nerves because I don’t like someone else controlling my schedule. I don’t like always being told what to do. And I don’t like the dang phone ringing all of the time at my desk. But most days I just grin and bear it; like everyone else in the world that is somewhat dissatisfied with their life, if we were all being honest. I can just picture us all gathered in a circle complaining about our lives and woes and passing a kleenex box around.
I don’t know where this little annoying habit of mine came from but I usually attached the number ‘8,064’ to my complaints in order to really quantify my level of annoyance. So it looked something like this:
“Oh my gosh, there were like 8.064 people in front of me in the checkout line today!”
“I’ve told you 8.064 times! I’m tired and I don’t want to go anywhere!”
“My phone rang 8,064 times today! Enough already!”
Lord help me…I know I need help! I started to feel convicted about complaining like that all of the time. Yes things were annoying, sometimes even PEOPLE were annoying but I knew I couldn’t keep complaining 8,064 times a day driving myself into a foul mood and a cobra stance. Who knew if the next situation or person would send me into STRIKE mode. That’s what it felt like-I was poised to release some poisonous venom from my mouth like a cobra. I constantly looked for something bad to point out to everyone else. Awful, I know.
But I decided to turn my frown upside down (insert cheesy emoji). I didn’t like the way I felt when I complained about the 8,064 things that ticked me off that day. I decided instead to start thanking God constantly about everything in my life. I flipped the 8,064 from a negative into a positive. I started praising God for the incredible life I have and the blessings that constantly overtake me. He began to help me see the truth of my life and ALL of the things He does for me every day. Soon I found myself looking for 8,064 reasons that I could thank Him. I felt the spring in my step again and a joy to just be alive returned. I began to realize how ridiculous my sense of entitlement was and how it had dragged me down a path of complete ungratefulness.
Most of us live as kings and queens in comparison to the rest of the world. It is said that if you live in America (most people) live at a level that is better than the rest of world. The writer for Forbes magazine said in an article that the bottom 10% of Americans that live in poverty here are living better than the top 10% in Russia! That’s astonishing and it really makes one question….what the heck was I complaining about again??? Sometimes I think I must have been delusional but the truth is I was deceived. I had allowed myself to be deceived about how good God is in the midst of a challenging situation and a dark world.
When I start to worship God through thanksgiving something amazing happens……I connect with Him. Suddenly my struggles are not so hard and things don’t look so bleak-I’ve plugged into the life source. When I’m connected to Him there isn’t any situation I can’t endure, no matter how awful. There isn’t any pain that can outlast His presence. For that I am eternally grateful.
But the flip side is I don’t experience this wonderful exchange if I continue my complaints. God’s not into complaining; He just can’t stomach it. His tangible presence seems to vanish from my life when I start the 8.064 rant.
It’s not worth it to me. I don’t want to sacrifice His presence in my life just because I want to complain about ridiculous things that really aren’t that big of a deal. They are just light momentary afflictions, but I’ll stop there because that’s a whole other blog that I’ll write soon.