As often is the case, something wasn’t going exactly as I had planned and I was starting to get a bit perturbed. However, just as I was reaching the “boiling point”, all of a sudden I thought of something I had read earlier in the morning. The article spoke of the more than 4 million displaced people in Syria and the 2 million refugees fleeing the conflict— more than half of them children! Considering their plight I’m sure that even death would seem like a welcome relief to many.
It would do us all good to put ourselves in the place of these poor people. Imagine being driven from your homeland with nothing more than the clothes on your back and what little you can carry. As I look around my house and the office from which I write this article, I see a lot of things that I value highly. With many of those things the emotional attachment is of far greater value than some of the more expensive things God has given us. I would hate to lose them. Why am I so blessed? I could be among those refugees were it not for the grace of God. How can I not be content?
Just yesterday I changed into another pair of shoes because they were more comfortable than the others. Why do I have 2 pair of shoes when others have none? I have a doctor’s appointment later this morning and as usual I dread to go– even complain about it. I even walked out on a recent appointment because I was too impatient to wait any longer. Why do I gripe about this when others have no access to medical treatment at all. Just now, in the middle of this article, I got up to kiss my wife good-bye as she goes to the store– yep, we even have food to eat, while some have none. Going through the gate I dropped the lock and when I bent over to pick it up I brushed against a plant I had watered earlier this morning and got my pants and one shirt sleeve a little wet. You already know what happened next–I complained! I made a big deal out of getting a little water on my clothes. Then I remembered what I was writing! How can I complain about that when millions are staggering through a burning desert without a drop of water in sight?
I don’t know how else to say it—I am sick of myself! I am fed up with making petty complaints and having a bad attitude, even if for a mere minute, about things not going my way. I’m not only sick of myself, I am ashamed of my country. We Americans are a bunch of spoiled brats. We have more than anyone on earth and we complain more than anyone else. Why do we do that? It not only violates that the Bible teaches, it makes us miserable, torments others, and ruins our testimony. Having been so blessed we ought to do better than that. There is no excuse for us being so ungrateful that we constantly complain about things not going our way. And, as you well know, most of our complaining has to do with luxuries rather than needs. Just about every American has what they need, yet almost no American has all they want. And it’s that desire for more, bigger, and better that keeps us in a foul mood, and makes us so rude.
Every honest person would admit that this is the way it is, but sadly very few see any need to make personal changes. We would like to avoid the consequences of this problem,but we’re unwilling to address the cause. As long as we love gold more than God, and pleasure more than people, things won’t get any better. But no one wants to deal with the problem. I guess you could say, we are satisfied being unsatisfied. We are pleased with things as they are—pursuing the “American dream”, but God isn’t. He expects more from us. He expects conformity to His commands.
We would all vote for a kinder, more gentle nation where people love one another and everyone lends a helping hand, but no one wants it to start with them. That’s why nothing changes for the better. And nothing will change until we get sick of our shortcomings. There is hope only when we are honest about our condition and hungry for a change. Until then all we do is complain. Think about it!