I am a grumbler. I am a worrier. I get stressed out frequently. It’s my fallen nature. With multiple tests, frustrating homework and a growing amount of things on my to do list, I have been feeling a bit of pressure. The reality is, life’s problems don’t get much smaller than mine. I have all that I need and a lot of things I don’t need at all.
So how come I haven’t felt grateful lately?
This isn’t a guilt thing. We can’t guilt ourselves into feeling grateful at all.
So what can we do?
As I was reading a book I recently started I came across a short section about gratitude. How relevant! The writer, John Bloom, shares some radical truth:
“Grumbling is a gauge of the human soul. It gauges our gaze on grace. It tells us that we’re not seeing grace. Grumbling pours out of our soul whenever we feel like we’re not getting what we deserve. Sometimes we’re even crass enough to think, ‘To hell with what we deserve; we’re not getting what we want!’ Grumbling is a symptom of a myopic soul. Selfishness has caused tunnel vision and has fixated on a craving. The soul has lost sight of the glory and wonder and splendor and hope that is the reborn, redeemed life, and thus it is far too easily displeased. Grumbling is evidence of soul vision impairment.”
So how do we set perspective back on grace, and away from insignificant frustrations that only leaving us feeling more unsettled?
I can tell you one thing, it can’t be manufactured from the outside in. We can’t just “try a little harder”. What we can do is focus on the inside out. What brings you joy? What makes you feel most alive? When do you feel closest to Jesus and His grace?
Tonight, I think I found a little glimpse of that grace myself. I set aside the homework and the list of things I could be accomplishing and sought out friends, intentional community and space. I have some stellar friends. They remind me of grace and love, which matter much more than any exam. I also gave myself thinking space, which is part of the reason for this article.
I don’t do this nearly enough, but if your a grumbler like me, ask God to help you see His grace and true reality.
I am sure I will continue to be a grumbler in a lot instances because old habits are hard to break. But that’s the way change is. Its slow. It’s a process. Being different means thinking differently.
If you ever see me being a grumbler, or anyone for that matter remind them of grace.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”. PHILIPPIANS 2:14–15
I’m still processing and learning to think differently. This verse gives a pretty awesome promise about what we can be when focus on a broader reality: That we are loved, even though we don’t deserve it.
So I choose to see grace. Even through the process.