There’s a popular gospel song of old by Rev. Paul Jones called “I Won’t Complain”.
Take a listen…
Growing up I loved the song, and thought that the concept of not complaining was cool, but impossible. If I didn’t like something I complained. If I didn’t like someone or something someone did I complained. If I didn’t like what was prepared for me for dinner from my parent’s hard earned money, I complained (under my breath, not audibly though, because Daddy and Mama didn’t raise “no fool”).
Well, here we are today and I’m pleased to say that I don’t complain nearly as much as I used to. Trials and tribulations have taught me to keep my mouth closed of complaints and be grateful. Still, I have little spurts of complaining that I want to break up with now. So, during my Church of the Highlands annual 21 days of prayer and fasting this month I decided to give up colas and complaining.
I guess the nature of a sacrifice is that it’s sacrificial. It costs something. With that said, and since deciding to give up sodas I’ve seen more Coke Zero this week than I’ve seen all summer. I even attended a potluck lunch and one of the cool, refreshing beverages being offered was “red” Kool-aid (which I love) spiked with Sprite (which I also love).
And then wouldn’t you know it. This season of life has been dishing me some obstacles with which to deal. I’m okay with that, as I’ve been in what seems like an ongoing relationship with testimony building tests for more than a decade. However, I, at least was able to voice my “concerns” (code word for refined complaints) about what was going on whether to someone who would listen, or simply to myself. But until August 23, and hopefully much, much longer than that I can’t because I won’t complain.
The caution in avoiding complaints has caused me to really evaluate what comes to my mind and out of my mouth. It’s been warm in Birmingham, Alabama this week. Two days in a row when I’ve gotten in my car the temperature read higher than 98. Rather than complaining about how hot it was I had to think strategically about focusing more on the fact that I have a car with air which cools really quickly and even whisper a prayer for those who don’t or work outside like landscapers. Rather than complain about the long trek in to work I chose to look at it as an opportunity to hear my Donnie McClurkin CD for a bit longer. When washing my hair the other day rather than complain about the greys that keep popping up I thought to view it as a fine time to choose a spicy new color to debut once I finally reveal my own tresses to the masses again. Rather than complain about finances or not having all I want I excitedly sent a text message to a friend to let her know that one of our restaurants Jake’s has coupons in the mail and I have two sets.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a habitual whiner, and I really try to see the good in all things. Don’t get me wrong either in thinking that being that ways is easy or comes naturally. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. Fasting from complaining when I know it’s one of those little things that hangs on in what would appear to be a harmless way is why I’ve chosen to fast from it. My prayer is that hopefully the view of gratitude becomes my main focus regardless of what’s going on, whether good, bad or too much to tell. Rev. Paul Jones said it best for me:
I’ve had some good days
I’ve had some hills to climb
I’ve had some weary days
And some sleepless nights
But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Out-weigh my bad days
I won’t complain