Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Serve without complaining

One of our preparation meditations is on Philippians 2:14-15.

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Do all things without complaining or arguing, that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as stars in the universe.

It goes without saying that when someone is helping you, if they spend their time complaining while doing it, you don't really want them there doing it. When my kids complain about chores, rather than hear them whine, it's tempting to say, "Leave! I will do it myself!" But doing so teaches them nothing, and I am still not served. The whole experience ends up miserable for all.

And so it goes when serving others. If one is to serve, do it willingly. If one is to give, do it generously.

I do complain at times - especially when others are miserable or mean, ungrateful or when they assume the worst.  I am contemplating some of the things in Honduras that might bring out my whiny side so I can be prepared to shine through my 'hardship'.

Some things that concern me are the humidity and the mosquitoes, and I am a little anxious about other people, if they complain or argue, how will I deal with it? If my daughter is not on her best behavior, will I stress about it?  What about unexpected things that happen... say we have a power outage, or I have to work with someone I struggle to get along with? [Actually I am not so worried about the power outage. We have at least one a year at home, and have had them for more than a week in the height of Summer.]

I know one way to cope will be to remind myself why I am there (serve, God, grow) and that for me, this is temporary - be so grateful that it is so, when for others it is their life.

Over the next few days, I will be thinking and praying about those things so that when I experience them, I can do so without complaint or debate, but smile through and shine my light. I will be praying the same for my family and for our team.

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