Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not-So-Fun House

I have three kids. When just one complains, it's tormenting. But when more than one does it, it feels like planet Jupiter shot out of space and landed directly on my face--I'm baffled, hurt and angry. It discourages me because I conclude that they overlook all the stuff that I do for them. The good things seem to matter no more. In all honesty, I just want them to shut up before I have to resort to drastic measures that prove to them just how good they really do have it. I literally have to contain myself. I think any one who is a parent can relate. One little sign of ungratefulness from our kids leaves us fuming, discouraged and ready to suck them dry of every single ounce of greatness we've worked to give them. I think God must feel that way about us to some extent.

We all have bad days. We carry around a bad attitude and take out every little thing that doesn't go our way on anyone we come in contact with. We feel, and act, like its the end of the world. A bad day now and then isn't so bad, I guess. But it seems to me that most of us complain far more often than we have any right to. We focus on one or two little negatives and overlook all the positives. We walk around in a state of "Woe is me" when the fog of negativity hits us because frankly until we want to, we can't see our way out.

Yes, I said it --Until we want to. We have a choice here.

Think about it. He must see and hear a lot of ungratefulness. Can you imagine the volume--a whole world full of ungrateful brats? Just thinking about it makes my head spin. As a society, we are far more negative than positive. And as good, holy, patient and loving as He really is, it's become clear that our complaining and our ungrateful ways are not honorable to Him. It makes perfect sense that our grumbling, complaining attitudes would only cause us to be blessed even that much less.

I know for a fact that He's blessed me far more abundantly during times when I've been satisfied, content, happy or even outspoken about my blessings. When I carry the whole "life sucks" attitude, I feel like I'm stuck in a fog. I can't see anything clearly and the last thing I think to do is to call for help. That, my dear, is the worst place to be because our lives were meant to be carried out with focus and intent among other things. He didn't leave us and he surely doesn't leave us helpless.

We look at ourselves through fun house mirrors. We lack perspective and insight on the "real" picture. We have these ideas of ourselves that always wind up being way off base. We overrate or underrate the  gifts we've been given to the extent that our view is as distorted as the image we get from the fun house mirror, if not worse. Unless we look at ourselves in His mirror, we fail to see things as they are. We fail to see what we have, who we are and what He wants for us.

Remember, He's given us free will. And He's given us a good mirror--His word. If you are a believer, you haven't been left alone without soldier's gear. Based on my own experiences, it's clear to me that a person has to want change. We have to seek it. Someone can talk you down from that ledge all day long, but if you're determined to jump YOU WILL. If you wait for something to smack you in the skull, eventually it will and you won't like what it is. I promise. It's that way with anything in life. Being ungrateful says something about you, not anyone else and certainly not God.

We just can't afford to wait on something bad to happen to force us to look for good in life. Life's hard enough. here's no such thing a "karma". (We won't even get into how much that word eats at me.) Things are cyclic, of course, but God's at the steering wheel. This world isn't spinning out of control, or running itself. He has it all in His hands, and we have to start believing that whole-heartedly if we label ourselves "Christians". He can shape our outcome and and our circumstances. He wants us to ask. He can step in and become our hero in a moments notice but He doesn't want us to call on Him only when things are bad.

His word promises us good things, but also instructs us to believe it. They go hand in hand. If we believe it, we honor Him. Honoring Him calls for much greater blessings. He takes away our fear, our stress, our uncertainty if we believe Him. He brings a sense of peace that nothing else in this world can compare to. And if we don't, we make life harder on ourselves. It seems we push those blessings out even farther with our negativity.

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