“God Is In A Good Mood”…So What’s Your Excuse?

You and I live in a culture of complaint.  We connect in relationship most easily when we have some mutual discomfort to complain about.

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?

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About jesserice

Speaker | Author | Digital Culture Expert | Sit-Down Comedian

Posted on June 4, 2011, in lifestyle, relationships and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’ll just say this: How GORGEOUS is it today? The sun, I can see it! Yesterday me and just about everyone else in Kitsap County, was outside enjoying the elusive sun. I overdosed a bit and burned my translucent skin, but we were all out rejoicing it and talking to each other about how wonderful it was. Standing in line for barbecue, the wonderful weather was our common talking point.

    Your’e right though, most of the time we commiserate about one thing or another. We’re all trudging through, all “struggling” and showing off how strong we are by making it through day in and day out, when really we’ve all been blessed with a wonderful God.

    Enjoy the sun today, Jesse! I won’t be complaining about the weather this weekend.

  2. Thanks Jesse,
    I needed that attitude adjustment. I have been the ultimate weather complainer and I know others don’t want to hear it and it is not encouraging or glorifying of the creator of all things.

  3. Sally Burton

    Dear Jesse,

    The story of Jesus & the woman at the well that you used at the UCC General Synod Workshop is excellent for illustrating the power of being fully present to people. I have to say that it bothered me that you spoke about the woman in the same old, patriarchal way. It’s the interpretation that’s been common for who knows how long. I invite you to refresh it. There is really nothing in the scripture that says the woman was shameful. She may have been widowed and then may have participated in the practice of Leverite marriage. Even if she was disgraced, why aren’t any men she may have been with also shamed? Next time you give the talk, if you still choose to go with the interpretation of the woman as a slut, at least you could say she was Lindsay Lohan, Arnold Swartzeneger and Congressman Weiner all rolled into one. Change it up a little bit. The noon hour may have been to show her openness to Jesus’ message as opposed to Niccodemus, who was compelled but had stature in the Temple that he feared risking by being seen with Jesus. The woman went and told. Her role as an apostle could be emphasised rather than resorting to the tired old label of whore. Thanks for listening. Peace. Rev. Sally Burton

    Sent from my iPad

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