When you complain...you remain
Friday, November 20, 2009
I just finished reading an article on Foxnews.com about a lawmaker in Missouri who would like to declare the Wednesday before Thanksgiving "Complaint Free Wednesday." It has to do with the constant moaning and groaning that he feels Americans do in regards to the current state of affairs in this nation. Apparently this is not the first time such a recommendation has been made. Well, this got me to thinking.
Every year at this time, as we draw closer and closer to Thanksgiving, I watch the Christmas decorations go up in the stores and neighborhoods, and I pray that people won't see Thanksgiving as just a speed bump on the way to Christmas. I pray that we all will really take ample time to focus on the many ways that we can be thankful. Rather than filling my body ridiculously full of fat laden foods, delicious as they are at the moment, I want the focus to be on the true meaning of the day. On Thanksgiving, I personally reflect upon all of the things that I tend to take for granted.
But the idea of having "Complaint Free Wednesday" the day prior to Thanksgiving also would give us a chance to really pause and prepare our minds and hearts for the next day. Many of us will be at work or school. Some will be travelling. Some, like myself, will be doing all of the last minute preparations and also waiting in line at the grocery store for the things that I forgot to buy the week before! But while doing those things, there will be moments when we could stop and take inventory of our blessings.
I have often heard author and speaker Joyce Meyer say "When you complain, you remain," I think about that statement often. It is a natural tendency of mine to focus on the frustrating aspects of life and all of the grating, annoying things, rather than being thankful for all of the ways I have been blessed.
I am still very much overweight. I have a long way to go to get to my goal. But the fact is, I am healthy. I am cared for. I am not debilitated. I have the strength and the will to attain my goals and a support team around me to cheer me on. For that, I am thankful.
One recent Sunday at church, my Pastor mentioned a book that he had read in which the author wrote about saying 10 things out loud that he is thankful for every day before getting out of bed. It helps mold his attitude for the day. An attitude of gratitude does not come naturally. We must continually choose it. Isn't that the truth? It seems like common sense! But really think about how naturally negativity appears and how hard you must work to turn it around.
I think about my recent blogs in which I complained about bad customer service experiences. Yet, really looking at the situations, something good came from both. Could I have handled the situations better? Absolutely! Could my attitude been better! Absolutely! It all starts with one person. One smile. One positive comment.
We have a tradition in my family, as I know many others do too, in which on Thanksgiving Day, after we have all settled around the table, held hands and prayed, we then one by one say at least one thing that we are thankful for. There have been some years in which it has been harder than other years to come up with something, but we all do it. And it really puts everything in to perspective. I wish we could do that every day.
Today, I urge you.... Join me in making every day a "complaint free day." Do it with a smile on your face! Make it a priority.