Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lifted Above Complaints

I was recently asked to commit to not complaining for 21 days in a row. Sound easy? It could be easy, except you will probably discover that you are complaining a lot more than you think. I have. And, if you do complain, you start over at the beginning at Day 1.

What is a complaint? If you make a statement about how the U.S. government is dysfunctional, is that a complaint? You might say it is just a "fact". If make the statement internally or overtly with emotion, I think you can be sure it is a complaint. If you feel despair or annoyance when you make a statement it is a complaint.

I am enjoying the challenge. Some days I wonder if I will get beyond Day 1. But, I have faith I will. This morning I saw someone driving a hybrid car slowwwwly. I thought, often people driving hybrids drive so slowly. (I like hybrids just fine, by the way.) Then, I realized that that thought was a complaint and I could correct it. I didn't have to label drivers that way. Better, I didn't have to feel annoyed at all. That was a healing moment. See how the negativity can fade from our lives? Living this way seems to me to be Jesus patterned.

This morning a young woman gave me a ride from a repair shop to my work. I could tell she was upset. I asked her if she was getting the opportunity she wanted at work. She snapped back, "No. In fact they are going the other way." She poured out how rough things are, that her work is cutting back on hours. I shared with her that there was a plan for her and periods of winter are not bad because they ready us for spring periods in our lives. I shared the idea of not complaining for 21 days with her and she really liked it. Christly love impelled me to tell her that we could pray about it together. Her face lit up. She said "Thank you. You don't know how much talking today meant to me." A few years ago, I had complained when I couldn't get a ride to work from the repair shop because it had snowed 1". I had felt bad about that. Today, we both felt blessed by God's love. This was definitely a healing moment for both of us.

Won't you consider committing to not complaining for 21 days in a row?

1 comment:

Dennis R. said...

Emmet Fox, a metaphysical writer wrote a box years ago along these lines. It is entitled "The Seven Day Mental Diet.

21 days, Wow! I sometimes have trouble going 21 minutes. I think the approach would have to be a moment at a time.

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