From near to far
From here to there
Birthday fun was just nowhere.
April is the month and the 6th was the day
But Callan Reid was too sick to play.
All the presents had been bought and wrapped. All the food prepped and ready. The house was cleaned. Everyone was coming. And all were ready for Callan’s second birthday party…until he got sick. Came down with the exact same gastro thing his brother had the week before.
The family had been to dinner and Callan had eaten a lot so the first time some of the dinner “came back up” you think No big deal…he just ate too much! Then it happens again and again and you realize he’s sick. No party, no nothing. Just taking care of a sick kid and changing sheets—lots of sheets.
The plans were laid
All prep had been done
But with young Callan sick
There’d be no fun.
At least no fun that particular day. Callan is better and the party has been rescheduled for later this month.
But have you ever experienced the stress of planning and prepping for something, only to have it interrupted or cancelled? Even if for good reasons you can’t help being disappointed and frustrated. You’ve spent a lot of time and money to make everything perfect, only to realize the event has to be postponed.
Maybe it was a trip – that almost happened to us last fall when a few days before our cruise our travel partner got sick. What to do? Should we cancel, too? Do we go without our loved one?
Or maybe it was a quiet evening home with your spouse. Kids were staying overnight with friends, the house would be quiet, and romance was in the air. Until some change of plans meant the kids would be home instead of with friends and that romantic evening just flew out the door.
Truth be told most of us don’t handle last minute changes too well. We like to think we do but if we really give voice to our thoughts we’re actually stomping our feet and complaining to beat the band when we don’t get to follow through on something that was so important to us.
This became all too visible to us this past weekend at church when the pastor talked quite a bit about complaining. He was referring to the Israelites who had had everything supplied by God. But they were never content with what He did for them. And at first you think Glad I’m not like them; I’m always grateful and never complain. Until you realize you absolutely DO complain and you complain about a lot.
I started thinking about my own speech lately (and remember your speech reflects your thoughts and intentions):
- Every single light red! Really? Are you kidding me? Can’t we even travel two miles without a long red light? After all, we’re on the main road.
- What’s with these long lines at Costco? Why can’t they have an express line? I’m only getting milk and everyone else has a packed cart.
- The new fan in your car just isn’t working properly. It’s hot in here. You need to take it back and have the place look at it. Man, everything is made so poorly these days. Your old fan never acted like this.
- Does this burger look like medium to you? I ordered medium and I really should send it back. But then you’ll be done with your meal and I’ll just be starting on mine. Forget it. I don’t feel like waiting. I’ll just eat it.
Unfortunately, these are real life scenarios in my recent life and it’s shameful to realize how selfish I’ve been. And how petty over things that really just don’t matter. In the scope of things, if this is all I’m complaining about then I think my life is pretty good.
So hubby and I were actually quite challenged by the message and are determined to make changes. Our new mottos after we say something we shouldn’t is “BWNC” (but we’re not complaining!). My hope is that in the long run we’ll continue to see the patterns that need changing and be willing to do what’s necessary to be grateful and trusting in God rather than full of complaints and bitterness.
Philippians 2:14-15 reminds us to “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (New Living Translation).