“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I have decided to give up whining. This is much easier said than done. I have an affinity for whining; some would say talent. It’s definitely a habit that comes easily. I can whine anywhere anytime. If I only knew more languages, well, I’d be a bilingual whiner.
But no more. At least, I hope no more. See lately, since my stomach trouble, I’ve been practicing whining almost 24/7. In the hospital it was almost required, but since I’ve come home, it’s been more obligatory. A choice. Being an amateur wordsmith, I’ve discovered different ways to express said whining. “It’s a dull ache.” “Sharp stabbing as if I was mugged very quickly.” “Sluggish as if my pipes are full of sludge.”
I’m sick of my own voice. I know that my pain is valid, but I feel my words, my whining, has given the pain more power over me. Jesus told us we’d have trouble. I am going to have pain. But HE has overcome every trouble and if I choose to focus on Him, then the whining will lessen. Pain might stay for a bit, but His power will cause me to rise above it.
I’m reading Some Assembly Required by Anne and Sam Lamott. In it Anne writes, “Life is already an obstacle course…why bring any more items and hurdles to it?” Paraphrased a tiny bit.
Have you seen those movies where soldiers have to complete obstacle courses in boot camp? It is absolutely ridiculous to imagine one of those soldiers stopping in the middle of the course only to go to their car, open the trunk and pull out another obstacle for them to add to the course. Silly, right?
And yet that is exactly what I do. God has given me a wonderful opportunity. This weekend I get to fly to California and attend the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. The enemy of my soul does not like this, because it is my next step in following God’s call on my life. Ergo, obstacles. Including a trip to the hospital for an abdominal infection. I’m much better, but I still experience pain from time to time. Obstacles to preparing for this trip.
So what do I do? I go to my car and open my trunk and pull out the big ‘ole whine bag chair and place it on the obstacle course.
During my whining, it’s occurred to me that many wonderful people have chronic pain and live wonderful, fulfilling lives. They’ve gotten past that whine bag chair. At least one as big as mine.
If you are a whiner, I ask you to join me and let’s drag the chair off the obstacle course. Life is going to be difficult enough without it. God is in the business of taking whine bag chairs to the dump. And then He takes His place on the obstacle course, handing out power bars and cups of refreshing grace.