Blessings. Thankfulness. Getting hold of the fact we are blessed and our lives have so much to be thankful for is sometimes forgotten.
When my son was 13, he went on a mission trip to Mexico. It rocked his world. They visited people’s homes made of nothing more than cardboard and ingenuity. It was a complete eye-opener for a young man from America. He said, “Momma, these are the happiest people, and they have nothing.”
He fell in love with one little boy and the boy with him. As Zach was leaving their hugs became fierce. Zach gave him some of his “stuff” and the little boy handed Zach his ragged little bible. He gave all he had and there was a moment, well a lot of moments where Zach tried to get him to keep it, and then he realized it would break the little boy’s heart if he didn’t take the Bible. He gave out of the “poverty of stuff.”
So some days when I gripe and complain I think of the lessons I’ve learned about complaining and there have been many. Mostly my stinkin’ thinkin’ comes from having to do the mundane … like washing dishes after cooking a big meal and everyone else is watching TV. Their laughter is like burning hot candles on my pity party cake.
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On one of those occasions scripture came jumping into my heart reminding me … “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life” —Phil 2:14-15
I sure don’t want to be a fizzled, frazzled star. Who wants to be around one of those?
My friend, a retired pre-school teacher, puts it simply and to the point, “quit fussing and put your big girl clothes on.”
That’ll preach … Things hurt. No covering that up, but it’s up to me to choose to put on the garment of praise. Scripture often calls it “the sacrifice of praise.” By doing that y’all, somehow supernaturally by God’s grace, life might not change, but my attitude sure does.
We always have an audience who’s listening. It’s called the world. Instead of running the crowd off by the garments of griping let’s learn to laugh about a sideways kind of day. Some days are really are incredibly hard. Again, it’s often not the big stuff that throws us onto the track of complaint … it’s the everyday junk that railroads us for sure.
So, intentionally think on the good. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
Go ahead and shine like a star. Have a very, very good day.
Kandi Farris, a freelancer correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.