Quit Your Whining!

Vonda and I enjoyed breakfast Friday morning with my mother at Cracker Barrel. Breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants is part of our routine whenever mom spends the night with us, which she did last night.

On the way to breakfast I started rummaging through a list of the pressing needs I have automatically stored in my brain that are demanding my immediate attention. You know, it’s that nagging list of concerns you have that always seem to creep toward the front of your brain whenever you have a moment to reflect.

My mind started to wonder, “When will I get this done? What is it going to take to get that fixed? How will I pay for this? Where will we get the money for that? How long do we have to complete this project?”

Can any of you relate? Does anybody know what I am talking about? Do any of you have that same kind of list?

Before arriving at the restaurant I was already on the defensive. And, I hate to admit it, but I had also become a bit whiny. As a result, my mind was consumed with my problems, my needs, and my troubles and nothing else seemed to matter. And, as things typically go when I am in that particular mindset, I started whining during our breakfast conversation.

Since my mother is the consummate motivator and positive thinker, she started helping me see things from a different perspective. And, that worked for a while. Actually it worked well enough for me to pipe down about my troubles and move on with the meal. But for those of you who can identify, I may not have been talking about those needs, but I was sure still pondering them in my mind. That is, I was dwelling on those things until God sent a family to sit directly across from me.

I don’t know the family situation. It could have been a father and daughter, or a brother and sister. Whichever the case, it sure looked like they were related. And, the Lord used these two strangers to stop my whining—immediately.

The daughter/sister was severely physically challenged. She could not speak, and I honestly doubt she was capable of any verbal or non-verbal communication. When they sat down, the father/brother very gently placed her chair right next to his so he could give immediate attention to anything she needed. After being seated, the special needs child started rocking back and forth and it was necessary for her brother to calm her. Soon thereafter, she became calm.

A conversation between God and I ensued immediately, “Okay, Lord. I hear you. I hear you loud and clear. I promise to quit. I promise to quit my whining. My needs are not so great, that you cannot meet them. Instead of whining, I will trust you and I will thank you!”

I did not want to stare. Yet periodically I would glance at the father/brother caring for his daughter/sister, and he did it with such grace, patience and tenderness. I was deeply moved. He prepared her breakfast for her on her plate. Then, he methodically fed her bite by bite, stopping briefly to give her something to drink through a straw. He did all this while trying to eat his own meal. And, not once did I see him grimace or complain. He served this child as if it were a distinguished honor. He served her with such ease. This child was not a burden to him. This child was a blessing.

A situation that would have completely unnerved me seemed to be business-as-usual for this noble man. He was composed. He was comfortable with what he was required to do. He made it look easy, which I know it was not.

And it was his example that helped me get over my whining spell. That is exactly what I needed to see—a man handling pressure with grace. I am so glad God sent this sweet family to sit next to me. Thanks to their example I have a new perspective on my day.

So, for the remainder of this day I will not whine. Neither will I bemoan the fact I have a particular need that I think is overwhelming. Nor will I dwell on things that are beyond my control. Instead, I will be joyful. Instead, I will be thankful.
As I left the restaurant to begin the remainder of my day, this was a prayer I prayed:

“Thank you, Lord, for this day, with all its demands and needs and opportunities. Thank you, Lord, for my health and my family’s health. Thank you, Lord, for my family. Thank you, Lord, for meeting all of my needs. Most of all, thank you, Lord, for the example set before me this morning by that precious family. Please meet all of their needs according to your riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Amen.”

For anyone else struggling with a case of whining today, let me encourage you to pray a similar prayer. You will be amazed how small your problems become when you pray this way.

1 Response to “Quit Your Whining!”

  1. 1 Anonymous
    April 14, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    I agree with the “No Whining” concept of life. That is one of the life rules for our home. Not only that, I have that exact phrase over the door of my study so that every time I leave I see it.

    Bless you for reminding me that I have no reason to whine. After all, my sins are forgiven!


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