Today we present Classic Complaints. These are actual complaints I have either heard or uttered myself. Here we go:

My treadmill broke, now I have to run outdoors.

This microwave has too many options.

Perrier water in the plastic bottle tastes weird.

My neighbor just put a password on his Wifi.

20 chicken Mcnuggets and one dipping sauce? Come on!

If my ripped jeans keep ripping, I’ll need to buy new ripped jeans.

My shampoo and conditioner never run out at the same time.

I can’t sit comfortably because my wallet is too fat.

In 1988, Jan Grzebski, a Polish railway worker, fell into a coma as the result of a tumour. In time, the tumour shrunk enough to relieve pressure on his brain stem and Grzebski sat up. By that time the world had changed. Poland was no longer a communist state where meat was rationed, and only tea and vinegar could be purchased in the shops. The country Grzebski woke up in was a free Poland. “There are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin,” he said.

You’d think the people lived grateful lives, but according to Grzebski, they didn’t. “What amazes me,” he said, “are all these people…never stop moaning. I’ve got nothing to complain about.”

It reminds me of an old story I read. When the nation of Israel was liberated from captivity in Egypt, they rejoiced…for about 12 minutes. Then the grumbling commenced. They moaned about the food. Water. Leadership. The rocks in their sandals. The onions. They saw the giants of the Promised Land and grumbled, “Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?” And because of their complaining, this generation of grousers never entered that promised land.

If ingratitude is a big deal, how do we stop whining? Try this. Each time you feel a grumble coming on, substitute a thanks instead.

Here’s a good place to start. Say, “Thank you, Jesus, for redeeming my life. I don’t understand so many things, but I understand that you love me, that you’ve given your life so I could have abundant life forever. Thanks for clothes. Food. Shelter. Friends. Thanks for the hope of a brighter future. You are so good, so kind, I am so blessed.”

Remember our grateful friend Jan Grzebski? He credited his survival to his wife, Gertruda, who cared and prayed for him. Grzebski was a father of four when he went into a coma. While disabled he gained eleven grandchildren, and he was remembered as a grateful man.

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