Living a life of gratefulness

I love getting together with people — having a nice dinner, shopping, anything really. It’s a great distraction from all of the responsibilities of life. I think it’s necessary to have balance in life. We all have things we need to do, but we should also have time to rest and recharge. Rest can look different for everyone; some people like to be alone, some like to be with others. 

Typically, I like to spend time with other people. I have noticed, however, that sometimes when I’m with certain people, I feel exhausted. Like our time together wasn’t energizing. Instead, it was draining. 

When that happens, it’s usually because the person is constantly complaining about everything instead of enjoying the moment. There are many things in life to complain about: weather, traffic, food service. It is easy to find things to be frustrated with. 

At times, I find myself doing the same thing. Complaining about traffic is usually where I begin, but then it starts to spiral. So I’ll go from traffic to weather, then to talking about the unkind thing someone said to me that day. Soon enough, I’m just wallowing in it instead of picking myself up and starting again. 

I do eventually snap out of it, but only when I realize I’m dragging people down with me. Misery loves company, so people will wallow in it with you if it continues. 

Incredible miracles

The children of Israel found themselves in a situation of complaining. And to be fair, they probably had quite a bit to complain about. They were living in the hot desert, eating the same food everyday and spending time with all of the same people — there was nowhere to go to get a break. They had just witnessed God do incredible miracles to save them from the Egyptians, and yet here they were complaining about what they didn’t have. 

Complaining did them no favors either because, as we know, they were not allowed to go into the Promised Land. Because they complained, they lost faith in what God could do for them, and they had no patience in waiting for the conditions to get better. God had a much bigger plan in mind for them, but they chose to live in misery instead of believing He would get them out … again.

I’ve seen God do wonderful miracles in my own life, and yet at times I still complain. I lose patience even though I know He is working all things to my good — He’s done it so many times before. It’s such a bad pattern of behavior because it affects not only the person complaining, but everyone around him or her as well.

So how can we get out of this habit? I found being grateful does the trick. Focusing on what I have leaves no room to think about the things I don’t have, or the many things I can’t control.

Are you ready to make a change in your life? The smallest steps can have the biggest rewards.

Amy Hacker

Amy Hacker is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is creative services associate for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She attends the Church of the Highlands and has three children.

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