Complaining and Grumbling

My pastor spoke to the whole church staff today and confessed (as he also did this past Sunday in front of the whole congregation) about his recent bout against complaining and grumbling. He said that he has generally been a joyful guy, quick to praise, and slow to complain. 'Stop complaining' photo (c) 2009, Aitor Calero - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/However, he said that as of late, he’s noticed some of that contentedness has been replaced by grumbling. This is the thing that he would like to focus on giving up to God, hoping that our Lord will help turn this attitude around before 2012 is over.

Since then, I did a quick search on Bible Gateway typing in “grumbl” (to include past, present, and future tense). I found it striking that nearly all of the results fell into two categories:

  1. The Israelites complaining against Moses while wandering through the desert
  2. The Pharisees complaining against Jesus’ works or Jesus telling the Pharisees not to grumble

'There is absolutely no reason to complain or bitch!' photo (c) 2010, Walter Lim - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I find it ironic that the top complainers seem to do so while God is showing Himself mightily. When God is working great wonders, we seem to find the nerve to complain with a renewed intensity.

God has been doing mighty things in my heart these past months. This is fantastic news, but it also worries me because I’ve been doing some complaining to God throughout. In other words, I’m just like the wandering Hebrews and the ancient Pharisees! Now that I’ve recognized this, hopefully I can do some changing myself. With God’s help, I’d like to turn this around in the near future.

“Lord, give me the humility to repent and the courage to change!” Amen.

Thirsting For More

'Thirst' photo (c) 2011, jadeashley - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Recently I’ve been noticing a longing for something more. It’s crept up on me. I find it incredible and incredibly unnerving the way I can let important things slip away from my grasp. In fact, this particular important thing not only slipped out of my grasp, I think it ended up beyond my horizon. Or maybe my perspective is wrong. Maybe this thing is in plain sight, but I’ve hidden myself from it.

This thing is my personal devotion life.

When Christ entered my life and my heart, I knew I found the source of true joy and fulfillment. I was so enamored with Jesus that I consumed my time with reading His word, worshipping, and at least trying to pray regularly. I couldn’t stop. It was like an addiction. I always carried my Bible around, and I truly wanted to spend time with God, and our relationship was rather effortless.

And now that I’ve become a youth pastor, that effortless relationship is but a shadow of what it once was. Ironic I think.

In spite of my current state, I can also sense a maturity in my relationship with God. It’s grown, evolved, and weathered quite a few storms of doubt. This gives me a hope. I know (at least in my theology) that God is with me always and never judges me for better or worse based on my performance. I am not a complete nincompoop.
'Thinking RFID' photo (c) 2009, Jacob Bøtter - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Nonetheless, I realize the value in discipline and obedience in my relationship with God. I seem to recall Oswald Chambers saying a lot about that in his book My Utmost for His Highest. Therefore, I would like to be more intentional in my time with God. Not out of guilt or to unlock a new spiritual level, but rather to return to a deeper and more beautiful relationship with God – to renew that relationship of effortlessness.

This blog has now become my daily reflection of my relationship with God. I needed a project and tangible goal to keep me motivated. What better time than January first when people are making all sorts of new year resolutions! Certainly this will prove more valuable than one of my previous new year resolutions about learning to throw a frisbee disc further on a “pull.”

If you’re reading, I hope that you can meet God as I am meeting Him again. Feel free to join me in my journey as I bare parts of my faith for the whole of the world wide interwebs.

Day One.
Check.
Goodnight.