Complaining or Laughing?

Seriously, I have a few things to groan about. So, naturally I’ve been in groan mode for a bit. But now the list is getting longer and the groaning is turning to laughter. I wonder why? I wonder if it’s God’s way of getting me to Stop It! Stop complaining, stop pouting.

Humor me by letting me therapeutically write this out. You may find something familiar in your own story today.

You ever have those times when everything is breaking, like all at once, or at least in one long continual stream of events? I’m almost afraid to go anywhere, because something will break.

Here’s my list that makes me laugh:
1. First day of travel to California: ipod quits working. Like in one instant, it’s playing, but no sound.
2. Within first hour of travel to Tucson, CD player quits working. It reads: “see dealer”.
3. Within first 10 minutes of leaving Tucson (3pm, mid-July, 100+) a/c goes out.
4. An hour before company arrives, toilet breaks, leaks to a constant running.
5. Company arrives, screen door falls off. Like on top of them.
6. For the past two Mondays, I have to spend way too much time on IT stuff to figure out how to get my computer properly working with office server. Why?
7. Truck odometer reads the multi-hundreds-of-dollars maintenance is due (in man-talk that means over-due)
8. Because one car is in shop getting a/c fixed, I ride my bike only to get a flat tire on way home.
9. After a nice walk home I’m welcomed with an old medical bill sent with an apology, but with a huge balance due.
10. This morning, power window switch quits working in truck.
11. Now at my office the barking dog next door is relentlessly crying for someone’s attention. Next door means right on the other side of my 4inch wall. Directly.

You see why I’m laughing? Partly because the list grows everyday, but mostly because as I ponder this little list I realize none of this matters. Like really, not one bit. It all has to be dealt with, but really nothing on this list is of significant loss.

1. ipod? Big deal. We have radio. We can drive in quiet and talk if we want
2. cd player? Big deal. We have radio. We have quiet time. Still stuff to talk about.
3. a/c? Okay, very inconvienient, but once we get out of the dreaded desert, we do live where a/c is mostly optional. We still can drive home in a nice car. We can have the windows down (every man’s dream). Not so quiet. No talking.
4. Toilet? We have two. (Odd Bonus: company came and fixed toilet!)
5. Screen door? We actually own a house. Close the door or buy a flyswatter.
6. IT? At least I have a good computer. Working through the server is always optional.
7. Truck maintenance? Really who believes those books anyway? It’s all a scam to get you to spend too much money. Runs fine. For now.
8. I own a nice bike.
9. I live where I can walk home in July and love every minute of it. I have insurance that covered most (apparently not as “most” as I hoped) of a medical procedure in a clean, modern hospital.
10. Power windows? Are you kidding me? I have 3 other windows in my truck that open. Three. I’m spoiled.
11. Dogs eventually leave the vets and go home.

What a fun list. Your list may not be quite as easy. You may be going through stuff that really does matter. My list ranges from a .50 cent fuse to a few thousand dollars of bills and repairs. Whether your list is laughable or seriously causing pain, let’s choose not to complain, but bring our stuff (great and small) before a loving God and trust Him with the ‘why’ of right now.

I’m not lying…the dog just quit barking. Things are already looking up!
Have a great day. Regardless.

14 thoughts on “Complaining or Laughing?

  1. Good reminder! An old friend and mentor is in the final days of his battle with pancreatic cancer. It is amazing how a little perspective like that reveals the significance (or lack there of) of minor issues in my own life. But I sure hope your list doesn’t grow anymore – I can see how it has become humorous!

  2. Geoff

    Thanks for the reminder. It is easy for me to “whine” about a lot of dumb things! They are iritating sometimes but definately not the end of the world. I guess I’m like the Israelites complaining in the desert even though God was leading them and providing for their needs.

  3. Jason Sterner

    I felt bad for you at first, then actually laughed along with you. Thanks for the great reminder on the little things in life. So much to be grateful for, yet we look for the disappointments.

    Let me know if you need any help with the computer. Don’t know much about screen doors or cars, but willing to help in any way.


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  5. Melissa

    This is absolutely hilarious but very true! I get in the same ruts where I stress and panic about everything that doesn’t matter. In the end when I finally give it to God it all works out for the better. Right now I am in the process of setting up my first classroom and working on planning the first few weeks of school. I am stressed beyond belief. But for the past couple of days every time I open my Bible to read, turn on Family Life Radio, or like today read your blog, it is literally about not complaining so much, relying and trust more on God because He has a plan and a will for us. All these valleys and hills are ways in which He is shaping up to be the person He intends for us to be! God Bless Pastor Mark and thanks for sharing.

  6. Leslie Crawley

    WOW!! I LOVED the therapeutic update!! Sounds very familiar at times!!
    I will miss church this Sunday as have workshop in “Big D”!!
    Much joy to you,

  7. Terrilyn Miller

    Us too! It has been hysterical. We have enjoyed guests from places like Germany, Japan & Hungary this month (at times as many as 15 of us) … all crammed into our very small and humble cabin. The water heater broke, the dishwasher broke, the car broke (several times) and we have been stuck with an undersized rental car!! … and that is just the start! It has been so pathetically exasperating and yet really funny all at the same time! Life has been challenging this past year or so … and sometimes I cry (always at the worst times) but it really does make for a GREAT STORY!! Blessings to all!

  8. Duane

    Pastor Mark,
    I really enjoyed reading your list, especially after the day I’ve had. Reading over your list truly lightened my load and brought a very much needed smile. Thanks so much and God Bless.

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