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Monday, October 5, 2009

Wise Lessons Learned

On this Gratituesday, I am grateful for wise lessons learned....

Last week in our Wednesday night Bible study, the teacher told a story about a lesson he had learned several years ago.  At that time the teacher was a young father.  His son played little league.   He was upset about the little league field and began to complain to his dad about another young father who was working on the field.  He didn't think this other father was doing to the field what needed to be done.  He didn't care for the way the other father was taking care of the field at all, really.  The teacher said that his dad said something really wise to him...something that really changed his life.  He said, "Well, at least he is doing something!".  In other words, this teacher's father pointed out to him that he himself wasn't doing anything to help with the field.  He was only complaining about what was being done.  From that day on this teacher said he always looked for ways to actively help and not just sit back and complain while others did the work.

I've thought a lot about this story since last Wednesday.  How many times do I complain (either in my head or out loud) about the way something is being done?  And, if I do complain, what am I doing to help the situation?  Unfortunately, many times when we complain, we are just complaining about something that we aren't willing to help change.  It's easy to complain.  It's much harder to get involved and try to make things better.

I've actually experienced this first hand many times throughout my volunteer work.  Each year I organize the town/school carnival.  Sometimes there are complaints about how the carnival is run, how the booths are set up, or something else.  I would say that every year there is a complaint of some sort - some BIG and some small.  But, most of the time, the ones who are doing the complaining are the ones who aren't willing to help organize the event at all.  It's the same thing with the fair parade, which I also have organized many times.  Last year I had lots of "advice" about how it should be done or why something should not be done.  Finally, after tolerating a lot of "input" (that's a nice way of saying it!), I suggested (very nicely) that the person giving all of the advice, should take over the parade the next year.  Would it surprise you if I told you I never got any more advice after that?  Funny how that works, isn't it????

So, let's ask ourselves two questions:
1.  If I have a complaint about something (anything), what am I doing to help the situation?
2.  Is there something I could do to make it better?  If so, am I willing to work to make it better?

We all have our "pet projects"...certain things that are important to us.  Sometimes we expect others to feel the same about our projects and we want them to be involved and help us. But, are we willing to help others with their "pet projects"? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.  We must realize that sometimes we are going to be disappointed because we're going to be alone.  There may be no one willing to help.  It's at those times, we must evaluate our motives of WHY we are doing what we are doing.  Is it to glorify God or to receive praise from others?  If we are honest with ourselves, we should only be doing what we are doing to honor and glorify God.  If we get help from others - fine.  If not, that's okay, too, because as my husband said in a sermon yesterday, "We are living our life for an audience of one!".  Only one.  And that ONE is God.

I have one more question for you:  If everyone in the world was just like you, what would get done?  What would be left un-done?  Think about the wise answer the father gave his son in the story above.  "At least he is doing something."  What are you doing?

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

To see what others are grateful for, visit Heavenly Homemakers.


Amy Lynne said...

Well said! What a great reminder to look to yourself first when you think something needs to change.

Tracey said...

A great reminder! May I be less of a complainer and more of a doer!

A.Marie said...

Hi there! I just found this and put it in the comments section of my blog. For a limited time, you can get a FREE Joyce Meyer Calendar. Just copy and paste this link and it'll take you to the page. Since you had already visited my blog and left a comment (THANK YOU!) I wasn't sure that you would see this:

Have a great day! A.Marie

Samantha said...

So very wise! This is going to stick with me for a long time.

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Oh, so true! I have to be of my favorite things to do is to talk about the complainers! Can you believe that....had the gall to say that? I forget about the other 99 % that were pleased. But I should be remembering Joe's statement more.

Lori said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

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