I have a Facebook friend who is always urging people to stop complaining about the weather. I will be honest, I normally roll my eyes. I mean, it was -22 degrees the day he posted that. NEGATIVE 22 degrees! How could anyone not complain?
And then suddenly it hit me. He was right, he was absolutely right. There is absolutely nothing you can do about the weather. You can complain about it all day, everyday for 365 days a year, and you will still not change it.
Complaining about the weather is essentially useless.
What’s worse, is that I have found that when I complain I also (a) lose my joy, (b) waste my time, and (c) bring others down. (Yes, even when I complain about something as minor as the weather it brings down others.)
As I pondered this further I thought about the things that I complain the most about. Without question, they are all things that I can do absolutely nothing about. Things where my complaining will change nothing. I
The Serenity Prayer came to mind. Typically when I’ve referred to it, I mostly thought of the middle section. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Then somewhat ignoring the beginning and the end.
Now realizing that maybe it’s a whole package, and that I need to focus on the other parts as well, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I thought back to a situation I am having with a person in my life who I tend to butt heads with. We have absolutely and completely different worldviews. Not too long ago I found myself getting angry that she doesn’t think like I do. I found myself complaining to my husband that she drove me crazy. Until I realized that she is just that way, and NOTHING I do will change her. I just need to learn to accept that and stop complaining.
So for lent I have been trying not to complain. I will admit it, I have failed on many accounts. But I did manage to keep my mouth shut about day light saving. When people ask me about the weather, I’ve been trying to not complain about that. Last week when stuck in a traffic jam, I decided not to complain about that either.
It’s a lot of baby steps that will take a life time. But it does give me peace, and I know that’s worth pursuing.
“Seek peace and pursue it” Psalm 34:14b.