April 4th, 2006
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
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The lessons for today are probably among the most important one’s
I’ve learned in my faith journey. How many times do we grow
impatient with our journey in life? If we are honest, we have to
admit that we complain to God in many ways with the dissatisfaction
we so often express with our lots in life. Like the children of
Israel on the Red Sea road, we go grumbling along. But what does
our complaining get us? Usually we suffer more from our complaining
than from the actual conditions of the journey of life that challenge
us. We bring plagues upon ourselves when we give up faith and hope
and doom ourselves to despair.
Life can be tough, in fact, it usually is. God didn’t tell
us it wouldn’t be and God doesn’t like a bunch of whiners.
But God does hear when we pray out of our distress and our suffering.
The difference between crying out to God for help and the sin of
complaining is both a mental and a spiritual health issue. The Psalm
for today is a cry for help, not groan of disgust. God listens to
us when we cry out for help, but only if we do it from the perspective
Jesus tells us the same thing. If we focus on this world and what
limits or frustrates us, we will condemn ourselves. If we lift up
Jesus and believe that he has the power and wisdom of the kingdom
of God to help us, we too will be lifted up out of the distressful
circumstances of this world. So whatever is troubling us, we must
first petition God with praise. To not do so, is to sin against
God. To do so, is to be released from our sins. Sometimes we need
to sit down and make a list just to remind ourselves of how our
perspectives can get skewed in the direction of complaining. We
each have our own ways of praising God. It is a good habit to develop
as many as we can to counter all of our gripes. And just to keep
ourselves honest, it is a good practice to share them with others.
Here’s mine for today: Instead of complaining that winter
is still hanging on, I thank God for Daffodils!
to the writer of this reflection.
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