I think I have decided that my life theme is the tag line from Quantum Leap – “striving to put right what once went wrong”. Because I spend my days finding and fixing mistakes and checking for and correcting errors. And as a result of all that, I try to share information to prevent such things in the future and put systems in place to make things go more smoothly.
And then I have days like today, where it is one mistake after one error after one omission after another. No respite from fixing one problem to having to solve another. And as I contemplate the day, I wonder about so many things. I ask so many questions.
I wonder how we messed up that job by setting it up under the wrong customer. I question how we swear we turned in that missing receipt only to find it in our company van when pressed. I wonder how we can have everything we need in writing yet still enter something incorrectly. I question how we can bill out a job to a customer without clarifying job items completed and adding notes (and then blaming the office for making it impossible to do so).
And yes, these things all happened today. Seemingly without care. And it becomes my job (aka my problem, my headache, my stress) to not only find these problems but to fix them. And with little to no complaint.
And I keep going back. Day after day. The crazy doesn’t stop. My hair gets greyer. So why? Is it worth it?
And God knocks on the door of my heart, wanting to enter the streams of conversation raging through my head. He has something important to say: it is easy to be disgruntled with the everyday humdrum. It is easy to grumble about the inconveniences and inconsistencies and inaccuracies. It is easy to focus on the grievances when the routines rarely change.
But we’re called to be better than all this. We’re called to rise above being disgruntled. We’re called to give up the grumbling. We’re called to forgive the grievances. Because we’re called to be GRATEFUL.
And in the middle of the humdrum, the inconveniences, and the grievances, God tells us to be thankful, to be positive, and to be grateful.
Impossible! I know.
I struggle. I juggle good (positive) thoughts with bad (manipulative) emotions. I contend between good (affirming) and bad (condemning) choices of actions, reactions, and words. I waver between criticizing for mistakes and praising for effort. I resist positive feedback and uplifting encouragement in favor of judgment and knee-jerk reactions.
And I’m wrong when I do. As usual.
Because what does God call us to be? Philippians 4:4-7 gives us 5 goals – “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
He calls us to be full:
- Praise-full – rejoicing in God’s presence and goodness
- Grace-full – being gentle toward and careful with people
- Prayer-full – lifting all needs and concerns up to God
- Thank-full – choosing to appreciate His goodness and blessings
- Peace-full – being filled with Him so that we are steady and trusting at all times
This means being full of God. Which means we are full of God’s righteousness. God’s grace. God’s truth. Full of His light and His life.
Because we’ll need them.
In those moments when it’s easier to focus on what we don’t have (support, resources, control, influence, patience). When it’s easier to focus on the problems (frustrations, hardships, lack) we have. When it’s easier to focus on the difficult (impossible, hard, unchanging, unfocused) people in our lives.
In any of these situations when it’s easier to give in to grievances than to be full of gratitude, we will need to be full enough to stop in our tracks and turn fully to God. Because He is full of everything we need to focus in the right direction and on the right thing.
So you’ll be full today.
Will it be frustration or forgiveness?
Will it be harassment or healing?
Will it be grating comments or grace?
The choice is yours.
And the choice is mine.
Every day when I go into work.
And I face the problems and the omissions and the mistakes.
And I have to fix them.
When I face the seeming apathy and lack of apology.
And I have to battle screaming out loud at them.
I pray this lesson resonates deeply within my soul and echoes into the recesses of my emotions.
I pray this lesson settles deeply into my heart and continues to change my approach.
I pray I remember that all these things are temporary, a momentary aggravation that will pass.
I need to stay focused on what is important.
I need to remember to be grateful.
Because it’s not about me at all.
It’s not about my comfort or my being settled.
It’s about God being glorified.
Which means I need to choose wisely to be full of gratitude, no matter what happens.
Because this allows God to do mighty things in me and around me.
It allows God to do amazing things for me and through me.
It allows God to be in control of all of who I am and all that is going on around me.
So Father, please help me to choose gratitude over everything else. When I am in the throws of ingratitude and grumbling, pull at my heart strings and remind me of this lesson. Focus me on being full of You and Your grace instead of grumbling at the inconveniences. Thank You for reminding me gratitude is what matters.
Marie Fremin. 9/29-10/1/16.