I woke up this morning with one prevailing thought, “You’re acting like a spoiled little brat!” The more I pondered that thought, the more I began to understand its application to my life. Enter first world problems. I thought back on my recent past and realized that I spent a lot of my time engaging in mental complaining. I also suddenly recognized that I spent an inordinate amount of my prayer time complaining to God about this difficulty and that obstacle. And interestingly that reminded me of Jim Rohn who eloquently pointed out that , “Life seems to say to us – Here are the raw materials — your creativity, and 24 hours to use it. What splendid things can you produce?” You see, you and I all have at our disposal the exact same things that everyone else has at their disposal, the question is what will we do with them? All of us have to function in the same world. All of us face similar difficulties and challenges. All of us have good days and bad days. All of us have hopes, dreams, desires and fears. All of us wish it could be easier. All of us wonder why things don’t always go exactly how we want them to go. All of us… So what can we do about it? What should we do?
Living life how we live it in America makes it very easy to forget the all of the wonderful things we take for granted. We enjoy so many conveniences; so many luxuries, that we often forget and behave like spoiled children lamenting and complaining because we don’t get everything we want at the moment that we want it! Crazy huh? I mean, God forbid if the Internet goes out or the computer is running slowly or dread of all dreads, our iPhone gets broken! Or how about being upset over having to drive this “piece of sh**” car (that runs well but isn’t pretty) or being tired of this “ridiculous little 47″ TV.” First world problems for sure. You do realize that most of the world would consider what you and I take for granted to be living the good life, right? Yet here we are distraught over not having enough variety in our shoe game or that we look fat in our clothes (fat because we enjoy the luxury of having to ‘stop’ eating). We take the good we enjoy for granted, my friends. We have forgotten that some folks are dealing with real problems, problems with dire potential consequences. Some people face life and death decisions and here I am angry that there’s no half and half for my coffee! Spoiled brat…
And as I further pondered how I might be behaving like a spoiled brat, I remembered that God never promised life would be without difficulties or challenges. Oh we like to think that, but it isn’t true. Life is chock full of challenges and difficulties because there is an opposing spiritual force working as hard against us as God is working for us. But (and there is a but), God did promise that He would always make a way for us to win! ( If God be for us, who can be against us?) Yet to win requires effort and effort is the last thing we want to apply to the situation. We want God to drop prosperity from the sky like manna and then get pissed off if we have to walk some distance to find it. We want the new job that offers the promise of increased earnings and responsibility yet lack the desire to supply the necessary preparation to make it a reality. We want the new BMW in the driveway, but we want it to show up on Christmas morning with a ribbon on it, from Santa.
I’m guessing that we probably live in one of the greatest eras of mankind. So many people have access to so many things and yet here we are complaining and whining that life is too hard or that we lack sufficient opportunity. First world problems are not problems they are distractions; distractions that persuade us to complain and to not be grateful for this glorious life we are privileged to live. Gratitude, true gratitude takes a pause to recognize all of the wonderful things we enjoy. Being thankful doesn’t mean thanking God for the obstacles and challenges of life (because they didn’t originate with Him), it means taking time to remember all the good stuff He already gave you which encourages you to believe that He is going to give you more good stuff.
So, as a former spoiled brat, I spent the day today looking at all of the fantastic things God has already blessed me with. I recognized just how good I have it. And in silent repose I thanked God. I thanked Him that He was able to look past all of my petty whining and complaining and still lovingly provide everything that I needed and many, many things that I simply wanted! I acknowledged that I faced no real issues other than an incessant desire to have everything I wanted exactly when I wanted it…and decided to stop that, right now!
A spoiled little brat? Yeah, that’s what they used to call me… 😉
Just some good thoughts…