I know I should be thankful I have enough food to eat, but four days after Christmas I was still eating multitudes of mushrooms. I don’t like mushrooms. I barely tolerate them. Yet every Polish food item we bought this year had mushrooms. Mushroom pierogis, mushroom dumplings, mushroom soup. I was ready to pull my hair out!
I walked around grumbling about crumbs and feeling like the Israelites eating manna in the desert. I can totally relate.
Mushrooms, every single day. Although 4 days doesn’t compare to 40 years, I don’t understand why God would get mad at the Israelites for being tired of eating manna. Wouldn’t He have liked some variety once in a while? (Exodus 16:1-36)
Their complaining probably angered Him because He was the provider of all their needs and got them out of Egypt, and yet they were not thankful or appreciative enough. We are all like the Israelites sometimes.
Along with my mushroom “manna”, every sink in my house has been giving out. First it was the kitchen sink spraying water all over the place since before Thanksgiving. It’s like I was taking a shower and simultaneously washing the walls every time I turned it on. At least the walls are clean.
The last straw was when the bathroom sink started the same thing while brushing my teeth!! How much can a person take? (In case you are wondering, I found out the aerator on the bottom of faucets needs to be replaced periodically.) So guess what my husband finally went shopping for? He even ordered an aerator from the kitchen sink manufacturer and it came the very NEXT day!! I had suffered too long.
Even when I tried NOT to eat mushrooms, it didn’t work out so well. I decided to eat some scrambled eggs with leftover Swedish pancakes. A refreshing contrast, I hoped. But alas, I found mysterious gray strands in the syrup on the pancakes I was eating. MOLD?! Whatever it was, I wasn’t going to eat any more of it! Perhaps God was teaching me a lesson for dissing the mushrooms. He did get mad at the Israelites, after all.
All these are very minor annoyances in the grand scheme of life, but every day it seems like there is just one annoying thing after another, pounding on me like a hammer. Like today, I get ready to eat some cereal and I find my unopened container of milk is leaking in the fridge so I had to dump it, clean up and switch my menu. It’s like somebody is trying to tell me something.
Let’s get psychological about this for a moment. Is my dissatisfaction serving some need? Am I enjoying complaining? Could I make the choice to not let life’s annoyances bother me? Perhaps, but I am not one to suffer in silence. There is some value in venting. So I think complaining does have a purpose and can get you what you want if you know where to draw the line or are persistent enough.
Even God broke down and gave the Israelites some meat for a month after all their complaining. Although He made sure He gave them so much meat they couldn’t stand it anymore! Variety is the spice of life I say. (Numbers 11:1-35)
Complaining did serve a purpose in my case. It got my husband fed up enough to buy the doggone aerators. Persistence can pay off. Remember the parable of the persistent widow in the Bible? Her persistence paid off just because the judge became weary of her continuous asking. She didn’t give up until she got what she wanted. I say, “You go, girl!” (Luke 18:1-8)
And then there’s Luke 11:5-8 which is the story of the man who bothers his friend at midnight for some bread. The man and his children are already in bed and he did not want to be disturbed. Jesus says, “I tell you if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.”
As illustrated, persistence can be a good thing. We need it to succeed in life, but how often do we quit before we reach our desired goal or outcome?
Upon reading further in Luke, Jesus shows us we also need persistence in prayer. There have been things I have had to pray for for years before I received an answer. Therefore, persistence can help increase our faith.
Complaining often gets a bad rap, but it can pay off. Businesses, like the kitchen faucet place, have Customer Service departments. The legal system also deals with complaints, and a “no” can turn into a “yes” with the right argument.
Also, some people are better at getting results than others. My son has a knack for complaints resulting in positive outcomes. One time he had reservations at a restaurant and had to wait an extra 20 minutes. He made a formal complaint and was rewarded with a $100 gift card of which I was the happy recipient of a free lunch. There is a time for everything. Sometimes there is even a time for complaining.
It’s a new year. I never do resolutions. To be honest, I don’t think I am at the point where I am serious about giving up my grumbling and complaining either. But, it’s something to think about in case I get inspired to turn over a new leaf. Wish me luck. And next year I am going to make sure we do better holiday meal planning with far less mushrooms!! It will be one less thing to complain about.