As reported last time on the J-Blog, we’ve begun the whole seminary back to school swing. The first full on Tuesday happened, and not all of it was pretty. Coffee was in alarmingly short supply. The annoying kid in all of my classes was once again in all of my classes (you know who you are). Some of what my professors are teaching me is already common knowledge to those of us who have spent the better part of 6 years in the field. Also the homework was incredibly demanding. At the end of the day, a day in which two of my five class meetings weren’t held, I was exhausted. And I was complaining.
I’m not sure when in the evening it happened, but at some point someone was asking me how things had gone that day and I launched in to my laundry list of complaints. And as it was happening, I discovered I was really upset with myself. I am privileged to get to go to school in the United States. I have the financial means to make that happen. I have friends and family who lovingly support me through the educational process. Most of all I have a God who walks with me every single step of the way. And my decision is to complain?
I don’t like that! Even in the depths of ugly times, even when my energy levels are at next to nothing, even when I absolutely don’t feel like it, I want to be the kind of person who is grateful for everything God has given to me. I want that gratefulness to explode from my very being. I want that gratefulness to look an awful lot like praising a loving creator.
So I’m going to try to spend more time this week being grateful. I’m going to try to appreciate the things I have, even the things I have that I wish I didn’t. I want to encourage us to do the same thing! Take a few moments today to pause, think hard about all that God has given you, and say a little prayer of thanksgiving. And if you see me and I happen to be complaining, feel free to help by punching me repeatedly.