"Take a Number!" I feel like saying this sometimes. Or another line that I want to say, "Is this all you have to worry about?" I know sometimes my thoughts are not pastoral or are they? The opposite of thanksgiving is complaining. During the Exodus, Moses put up with the murmurings. Can you imagine being out in the desert with murmurers.
People who know me well hear me say this often. "If you want to get on my case, take a number! You just can not go to the front of the line." A wise retired clergy person told me this years ago. I know it is true. "If you are doing what God wants you to do, you are going to really make some people mad. They crucified Jesus for this." I am just now after all these years of ministry beginning to understand his wisdom.
Are you a complainer? A whiner? Or better yet, do you attract the people who complain or whine?
It is thanksgiving! It is time to give thanks! It is an opportunity to permanently arrange our world with gratitude and contentment. Gratitude replaces whining. Contentment replaces resentment.
Last night a church member shared a great formula for doing this. When you feel the urge to complain or whine, stop your thoughts immediately. Then flip the though upside down. What blessing is there to claim?
For examples, some people are complaining this week about all the preparations they are having to make for the Thanksgiving feast. "I have to cook, shop, clean, etc." Stop! There are people who WISH they had to cook, shop, clean to prepare for folks to share the Thanksgiving feast. Instead they do not have the ability to shop. They do not have the house to clean. There is no family to cook for. Do you get the picture?
A mom was mourning the loss of an infant child. One of her friends was trying to cheer her up. The friend said, "But now there are no diapers to change, you can get a full nights sleep!" The mourning mom would give ANYTHING to have to change a diaper or get up during the night to care for her child.
So during this season of Thanksgiving, change your thought pattern. In fact do more! Let God transform your thoughts. 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. Philippians 4:8
You will find life more pleasing to you, to others, and yes, to God!
Pray for me as I pray for you.
In the Master's Name,