True confession. Once or twice, well a few times in my life, I have complained about stuff. Little stuff like eating certain green vegetables, a favorite food item removed from a menu, (yes, I just gave two examples of food – don’t judge me), someone not putting on their blinker before switching lanes, missing out on a bargain, a not-so-great experience at the salon, and my goodness so much more. Then there are my complaints about big stuff like unexpected life hiccups and sudden life shifts. Those things can be attached to any number of specific areas – health, family, education, work, friendships, church, and my goodness so many more. Have I ever considered myself to be a complainer? No. Actually, most times, I felt I was justified in my complaints, or as I phrase it, ‘my concerns’, at the time. It was others who complained, not me. Well, that thought changed one afternoon last week after I heard a passionate principal speak to a room full of parents about excellence.
One day after school the principal shared the specifics of an enrichment program offered at the school. The room was full of parents purposely selected to attend the gathering because their child(ren) had performed exceptionally in a particular subject area. My husband and I were in attendance because of that. The principal and the program’s lead teacher gave multiple benefits of the program, what they expected from the students and what they expected from the parents. Students in the program would be pulled from their home rooms on specific days to learn advanced material, therefore, giving them additional work, which may from time to time be challenging, but the children were capable of doing it. The principal shared that in the previous year(s) parents contacted him to complain about the additional work given to their child(ren), that it wasn’t fair, the program was interfering with their child(ren) enjoying their childhood and that they would not allow their child(ren) to continue in the program. To that, the principal boldly pronounced that if our children were performing in an exceeding manner, and displaying mastery in the concepts and work in the subject area, they will be recommended for the program and there will be no option to say no. If a parent disagrees with that, they would have to go over his head to the Board to say they did not want their child to excel in an area they were gifted in. He went on to say that he would not, in good conscience, sit by and watch a child hurt himself, academically and behaviorally, when excellence is being offered to him/her…it only required more work. He gave some familiar statistics and repeated his stance. Hubby and I nearly jumped up in applause.
Days later the principal’s presentation came back to me in an unexpected way. Isn’t that what being set apart is all about? Being challenged? You may feel God has chosen you, set you apart, for such a time as this. Set apart to do what, you ask? I can’t answer that. But you know; He’s already pricked your heart and extended the invitation and you, well some of you, have said yes. Then comes the challenges, additional work is presented to you that takes you out of your comfort zone, you start looking different, talking different, your friend circle begins to look different, you begin feeling like you’re missing out on ‘life’ (turning it up and what not) and you find yourself complaining about any and everything. Do you have the nerve to tell God you want out of His program/His plan? Please be reminded that God has selected you among others to another level of excellence and service. He has called you to greater, which will require another level of diligent work and purpose from YOU. Complaints are unproductive and a distraction to God’s work. Try hard to stay clear of having a complaining spirit. The Bible says in Philippians 2:14-15,
“Do everything readily and cheerfully – no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.” (The Message Bible)
God has favored you with a season to bless many. Don’t ruin it with your complaining. You, WE, can do this!