So recently I saw a challenge on Facebook to go an entire month without complaining. It’s supposed to give you some kind of epic change in your life. It can’t hurt, so I think I’ll try it. But, my husband has reminded me recently of a second vice I have- bragging. Sometimes when I get happy, I like to share. Darling husband says it comes off like I’m bragging. So, if I add that to my challenge, what does that leave? I know EXACTLY what it means. I have to take myself out of the picture.
Whether complaining or bragging, I’m putting myself and my emotions as the center of the conversation. I become ego-centric. By taking away those two most fruitful areas of my selfishness, it allows me to focus on others, people who deserve to be built up.
So here’s Day 1: I’m going to talk about people who are inspirational to others, but may not know it.
Like my one friend who loves spiders. Not just ANY spider, I’m talking about big ol’ man-eating giant tarantulas. Ok, so they’re only about the size of her hand. But when you look at the pictures, the “ick-factor” jumps up as high as a 5 story building. I don’t want to say she doesn’t care about people saying bad things about her spiders, because she’s a human being who has feelings. But she cares so much for those spiders, that she shares them with others who come to her home, and on her Facebook page. I’ve learned so much from her, that I have actually found the photos of her spiders to be quite beautiful. She has taught me to change my point of view, and that is pretty nice.
There’s this other friend of mine, and she is probably the bravest person I’ve ever met short of the soldiers who have seen battle. She recently moved to another state. Now, for some people like me who move frequently, that’s really nothing to notice. Consider this: she has lived in the same state her entire life. After all of her children have grown and gone off on their own, she and her husband packed up and moved. Far from what she had known. And she’s 52 too. Yeah. Let that sink in a little bit. That’s like Moses kind of moving. It’s like Peter getting out of the boat kind of faith. THAT is amazing. She is showing others how stepping out of your comfort zone because you feel that’s your path is scary, but it can be accomplished. She’s a great example of bravery and faith.
I know some pretty incredible people. Some of them work with special needs kids, and though they’re tired at the end of the day, they still get up every morning with a smile and a hug. Some of my friends have built their own businesses. One of them even moved her entire business to another state, lock, stock and barrel. Some of them are inspiring others to become healthy and are training others to be fit. I often wonder how they can smile while sweat drips from every pore, knowing that they’ve either taught 3 other classes this morning and MUST be exhausted, or have 3 other classes to go and still maintain their motivation through the rest of the day.
Reading back over what I just wrote, I have to wonder if talking about others doesn’t have a taste of complaining and bragging. Part of the task of being a Jesus follower is to make sure you build others up. So, to those I just mentioned, keep up the great work. You are affecting lots of lives. You may not be thanked every day, but I mention you in my prayers often.
And to those who I haven’t mentioned, don’t worry. I’m praying about you too…