I want to give up something for Lent. I have every year for several years, except I think I forgot last year. The point of Lent, to me, is self-denial. Give up something for 40 days that is actually hard for you to give up. I used to give up things like chocolate and soft drinks, which anyone who knows me, knows that really isn't hard for me. One year I even gave up cussing, which was even easier. Seems like I lost the meaning of Lent somewhere along the way!
So this year I want to give up something that will be really hard for me to do, and something I want to do anyway. I am giving up complaining. I know that most people give up something more tangible, like cigarettes, and then donate the money they would have spent on their vice to a charity or something. But I have felt for a long time that complaining is something that Christians do way too much of. Hearing someone complain can really grate on my nerves if it's something that can't be changed, or something that is seriously insignificant. But then I feel hypocritical because I know that I am guilty of complaining of the same insignificant little things (hitting three red lights in a row? dealing with the installers at work? okay, don't get me started on that).
A long time ago, I started out on a venture created by a church in Missouri, called A Complaint Free World. It was started out as a 21-day adventure (going by the theory that it takes 21 days to create/break a habit). The average person complains 15-30 times a day. Don't you think that time could be spent saying something uplifting ... or maybe you just don't need to say anything at all! I have a bracelet that I got from this church a long time ago, and I'm supposed to wear it every day, and everytime I complain, I will switch it to the other arm. I did this once before but I was switching the bracelet so much I got tired of it. Shows how much I need to do this!!
A few people are going to have to hold me accountable!!
At work - Renee
On Wednesdays - mom and dad
At CFA - Jenn
At home - Stephen
At church - Cindy
Everywhere else - ME!
I hope this will make me more positive. The church running this has found that it takes people anywhere from 4-10 months to go 21 days without complaining. But once you quit verbalizing your complaints, your negative thoughts tend to fade as well. I really want to do this because I don't think God created us to be these grumpy, whining people that we as humans have turned into.
So no matter how big my belly gets, how little sleep I have, how bad the pain in my hips is, how far behind on time cards the installers get, you won't hear a peep out of me. I hope.
*Update: Right after I clicked out of this blog, Tim walked by my desk and I told him an issue I had yesterday with customer service. That's right, it took me about 30 seconds to have my first complaint of the day. I will try to do better!!*