Originally posted on Miss P’s Ponderings on July 3, 2012
As I sit at a desk in the church office subbing for the secretary, I’m reminded of the charge to consider it all joy. That’s a difficult challenge, in my opinion.
Now, I will admit, the two things which prompted these thoughts are tiny in the grand scheme of life. The first is the Regatta parade and the second the 4-H fair. Just a second…before anyone finds me to be a terrible person for not being a fan of these two things, I will admit that I know most people look forward to these events. To them, I say…ENJOY. I, however, was not programmed to enjoy being packed together in high temps as happens during the Regatta parade. Plus, it seems I have been wired to be allergic to most of the outdoors, so hanging around the fairgrounds with all the “lovely” aroma and sweat rolling down my neck…just isn’t something I enjoy. See, I told you my complaints were itty bitty.
Yet, as I was sharing with Pastor Mike this morning (since I’m manning the church office), it seems that this year…I will not only be attending the parade, but I’ll be riding on a float while singing a happy song. I love singing. I enjoy the people I’ll share the float with. Those two things should be enough to get me past my personal issues, right? Yet, my flesh keeps yelling, “It’s going to be hot! It’s going to be crowded! You’re going to sweat!” Uh, yeah…but I better be ready to ride that float with a joyful smile and an enthusiastic song. After all, regardless of what my flesh wants to believe, it’s not about me.
Then, after enduring the Regatta, the fair is off and running. Now, I could choose to avoid this. I could choose to stay at home each evening enjoying the scent of candles and the coolness of central air. But alas, my flesh is overruled by the opportunity to pass out “free water” to those who are enduring the heat and enjoying the festivities. Then, I will choose to return to man an information booth later in the week. Again, the yells of my flesh are heard, “You better hope it’s cool and your allergens take a hike!” Yes, my flesh tends to be sarcastic. However, my spirit reminds me to be content.
When I start dwelling on my “complaints”, I’m confronted with the truth I know. Truth is…these complaints are ridiculous. I don’t have any huge valleys or obstacles in my life. I know people who deal with battling diseases such as cancer…I have friends who have journeyed through the devastation of a divorce….I have witnessed the sorrow associated with losing a child. So, my trivial obstacles are just that…trivial. As Connor, my nephew says, I just need to “get over it”. And…I will. And in the midst of my baby trials, I must remind my heart to be filled with joy…a joy that bursts out in song.
My question is…what are you complaining about The heat? The lack of rain? The price of gas? The upcoming elections? All of these things deserve some of our thoughts, but our complaining? Nope.
Philippians 2:14, tells us to do EVERYTHING without complaining and arguing. So there’s your challenge. What are you worried about? What are you complaining about? What are you arguing about?
Consider your troubles an opportunity for joy. Learn to be content with whatever life brings your way. Trust in the Lord and be ready to lift a happy and joyful song of thanksgiving. So, whether your challenges are small or overwhelming…or somewhere in between, remember that He can be your refuge in time of distress, if you call on Him as your Lord & Savior. The trials and storms won’t fade away, but He’ll walk you through them each step of the way.