Are We Complainers?
Some of the readings from the Hebrew Scriptures show the Israelites complaining to Moses time and time again. They complain about having to eat manna when they ate garlic and herbs when they were slaves in Egypt. They complain about the difficulties of entering the land of milk and honey because of their fear of the powerful residents there. They forget all the wonders God provided for them in their journey toward the Promised Land.
Are we like those Israelites? Do we complain about what is happening in our daily lives? Just reflect on your thoughts about the weather. We have rain and complain that we need sun. We get sunny days and complain about the heat that finally arrives. We have the heat and complain that we need rain to water our gardens. In spite of those complaints, if we are really honest, those of us who live in the Greater Cleveland area can truly say we live in the best location in the nation. Wild fires in the west, floods in the south, tornadoes in the middle states – what do Clevelanders have to complain about?
Complaining about the weather is one thing, but what are the other areas of our lives that are the source of complaints? Illness, aging, loss of a job, loneliness, broken relationships, and many other human trials are difficult to deal with. The question is do the people around you have to suffer because of your complaining? As adults we have to learn to handle difficult situations in a mature manner. Complaining doesn’t change the situation. It is not our role to make others miserable because we have negative experiences in our lives.
We will realize that even the hard times and painful experiences are part and parcel of human living, but they don’t last forever. We should be grateful for our good experiences and for the negative ones as well. It is through our hard times that we often grow the most.
One way to grow our mature actions and reactions is to realize that with frequent prayer and honest reflection we will become aware that God is always present to us, supporting us and loving us. It is we who sometimes are not present to God. It is we who sometimes distance ourselves from God.
Take some time today to reflect on your blessings that you experience on a regular basis. Thank God for those blessing and for God’s presence with you. Don’t be a complainer. Resolve to see the positive in your lives!
How do you deal with difficult or hurtful situations in your life?
When are you aware that growth has occurred because of having lived through some hard times? Are you grateful for them?