From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 19th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

Complaining is sometimes fun.  At least, that is the feeling I get when I spent any amount of time with my kids outside of the house.  “It’s too cold” “It isn’t raining” “I’m very bored” “I’m hungry” “Can we go home yet?” “Why are you driving so fast and running those red lights?”

Ok, that last one was only put in there to see if you were still reading (and this last sentence was put in there to cover my own butt *wink wink*).  But it’s like the kids complain non stop about stuff, and I find myself complaining about their complaining.  And what they’re complaining about (and what I’m complaining about) seems to be very easily solved by just taking a step back, looking at the big picture, and realising that complaining really isn’t necessary.

I get that they (and I) sometimes complain because we’re uncomfortable, and to express that discomfort we complain even when that complaint doesn’t make sense.  Sometimes that complaint is only a front for what we are really feeling, and what we’re really feeling either isn’t recognised or even realised yet.  A good check that I tell my kids is “does it matter?” and if it doesn’t, then end of story.  If it does, then I ask, “can you do something about it?”  If they can then they better do something about it.  If they can’t then we probably should get a responsible parent on it right away.

I know, they say that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.  While that it true in the practical sense, man alive is that squeaky wheel annoying.

Here are the readings for next week:
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
Psalm 19:7-14
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

Here we have a lot of complains, some good, most of them bad and nonsensical.  And I think it goes back to what I was saying up there about these complaints being a symptom of something else that may not be at all related to the actual complaint.

Complaining about the free but bland food in the desert?  Maybe you don’t know if you can trust your leaders.
Complaining about your complaining followers?  Maybe you aren’t confident that you are doing what you should be doing.
Complaining about others who are doing the same thing as you? Maybe you are scared that you’ll lose respect and/or influence.
Complaining about your kids?  Maybe you don’t appreciate the fact that they’re just kids (and apparently we’re just like them according today’s sermon).

But the thing is, at least there are capable leaders in place to take us where we are going.  At least we have been given responsibility and the only thing anyone can ask is for you to do your best.  People gain and lose respect and influence all the time, we can be glad that we are capable in even doing.  And kids are kids, they are only this age once and from what I hear once they grow up it gets really quiet really fast.

I know, this is just a small cross section of the complaints any one of us can have, and they aren’t actual solutions or “grease” for what is going on in us.  But the point I’m trying to make is that while we might feel like we have a lot to complain about, we also have a lot to be thankful for.  It is just sometimes harder to see when we are focused elsewhere.  But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t taken care of, that we aren’t invited into God’s welcoming arms of love, or that we aren’t given every reason to celebrate and be joyful with all of God’s blessing, grace, and mercy.

Yeah, the squeaky wheel gets the grease because no one wants a squeaky wheel.  But a well taken care of wheel wouldn’t squeak in the first place.  And I know we are well taken care of.

Thanks be to God!

Have a great week, everyone!

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