“God Is In A Good Mood”…So What’s Your Excuse?
This sometimes happens for me when I’m standing in a checkout line with my groceries. I know, I’m old fashioned. You probably order your groceries online and somehow have them scanned to you via your iPad 3. Not me. I pick up my fruits and vegetables the way nature intended: at Trader Joe’s.
Anyway, when I’m standing in line at the grocery store, the easiest way to connect with someone – the checker, for example – is to complain about something. Here in the Pacific Northwest, that complaint usually involves the weather.
Me: “Can you believe this rain?”
Checker: “I know, right?”
Me: “I’m so sick of it.”
Checker: “Yeah, me too.”
Bagger: “You want paper or plastic?”
Me: “I’ll just put everything in my fanny pack, thanks.”
This also happens for me at the airport (“Can you believe we have to pay extra for our baggage?”), at church (“Do you know how far away I had to park this morning?”), and at home (“Oh my gosh, what kind of supernatural grass is growing in my yard such that I have to mow it every 18 hours?”) And I know I’m not alone in this, since I always find someone who will immediately agree with great fervor. “I know, right?” Complaining about something seems to be a natural way of being in the world for many of us.
Of course, this misses the fact that – despite there being no end to the stuff we could complain about – the reality is we live in a world where “God is in a good mood” (says Bill Johnson at Bethel Church in Redding). If God is in a good mood, despite the fact that no one knows better than He just how far things are from where they should be, why do I think I get to walk around all squinty-eyed and cynical, infecting others with my Eeyore-view of life?
If I were to pick a theme for my summer to come, it would be “practicing gratitude.” I want to spend the next few months intentionally practicing being thankful for both the easy and hard things, the good and the bad, the stuff that makes sense and the stuff that doesn’t. I want to do this because some part of me agrees with Bill Johnson that God is in a good mood and it would be silly if I didn’t let that shape the way I think and act. Practicing gratitude is a natural antidote for cynicism.
So what do you find yourself complaining about the easiest? And do you have any summer themes planned?