Growing up with a high school guidance counselor as a mom meant my sister and I never got to make excuses. There were no excuses for bad test grades or late homework or being late or doing something we knew was wrong. Teachers were not too mean or hard, rules were meant to be followed and if we did not do what we were supposed to do, we got in trouble. Every. Single. Time. There was no whining or complaining allowed. Just doing and having a good attitude.
Yesterday as I was getting ready for work, I had the TV on since Jason was not here. I was in and out of the living room, but when I stopped to make coffee I noticed that Joyce Meyer was on. I couldn't really hear what she was saying, but I noticed the text at the bottom of the screen.
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.
I knew that verse. Philippians 2:14. I think we memorized it in my Sunday school class when I was growing up. But in that moment when I read the words on the TV screen, I knew for a fact I never went a day without arguing or complaining.
Now, I'm not one of those people known for all the whining and complaining. In fact, most people who know me probably see me as upbeat and positive, which is something I strive to be and enjoy more than the alternative. But complaining is something that can easily sneak in there (like most sins). At work, when I'm talking with my co-workers, we may jokingly mention a student who has been particularly difficult and...that is complaining. I also know for a fact we whine about the workload and policies at times - and not in a joking fashion.
Do I whine about traffic in the mornings? I certainly have. Do I complain about the people around me? Jason can verify that. Do I complain when things are not going as I would like them? Sure enough. And this kind of thing happens every single day.
So after thinking about what I'd just read, and how I've always known that verse and how I've been raised to live that way...I gave it a try. I just wanted to see how long I could go. Well, it wasn't long before I was speaking with a co-worker and I complained. Man! And here I was trying to shine like a star and be pure and blameless, and failing within the first few hours!
I'm not giving it up, though. I'm going to attempt this every day. And maybe it will be like training for a marathon. The longer I go without a complaint, the longer I will be able to go in days to come. And really, what do any of us have to complain about? If we are complaining about work well, we do have jobs and right now that is really saying something. Do we complain about people? Well, give that up right now because people will never change. Do we whine about what we don't have? Look at what we do have! Homes, families, safety, freedom, cars, health, pets, food, sunrises.... Counting blessings helps with this immensely. When you are sitting around being thankful, it is hard to whine or complain at the same time.
So I'm going to add this to my training plan. How many miles can I run and how many hours can I go without a complaint about anything? Hopefully one day I will be able to change the hours to days.