This last week even at church they were talking about football. Is that America’s favorite American thing to spend time on? NO.
A counselor was teaching on my inpatient unit and he had everyone ponder what they spend their most time doing. Was it sleep, eating, working , commuting etc. NO
A Russian comedian once came to America and noticed what our favorite things to do was. The comedian gave us a clue, by pointing out that we do this activity best during a time we call HAPPY HOUR, is it drinking? NO.
What is it? Grumbling! He pointed out that we whine and complain about the weather, roads, government, our job, our boss, our family, in fact pretty much everything, then call it Happy Hour. It seems so innocuous, everyone does it but God seemed to be pretty upset when the Israelis were whining about how boring life was. He sent snakes to bite them to liven things up.
I went to the grocery store the day before the annual celebration of ingratitude held every November. People were already into the spirit of the coming day with long faces fussing about “will everyone show up? will people help? will they appreciate? will the turkey burn? will the siblings fight? etc. Meanwhile they were dragging around three carts loaded with fun-food flowing from the generosity of God.
When I moan and groan over how hard things are, my brain has to waste energy and serotonin trying to calm me down. “What am I uptight about? The government? yes that’s a problem so what am I going to do about it? NOTHING? So why waste my time and energy on that?” When I manage to obey God and then moan and groan about how hard it was (for extra credit?) it sends a signal to my inner brain to find a way to do less or even quit.
God calls me to be grateful FOR everything! Sure, a lot of pastors water it down with “IN everything give thanks.” True I need to be grateful IN but also FOR everything. Life’s trials and failures can ONLY serve to establish that the Grace and kindness of God are even bigger!
So join me in dropping out of this national sport and developing some PICKY POSITIVE muscles of gratitude for little things and giving thanks to the Lord in ALL thi