I went to sleep with news of wildfires causing evacuations in the mountains and woke up to the sounds of rain. Answered prayers.
As I checked my phone for messages and found the one that said another pay period had just been completed, I remembered that just one year ago that was an email that wouldn’t have come because there was no job. Answered prayers.
The news out of Ohio State University yesterday said people were injured and their futures were not yet clear. This morning I read that all expected to make a recovery. Answered prayers.
My phone pings regularly with reminders throughout the day to pray for this person and that one, for this situation, and for our nation. I am still waiting for some of those answers to make their way into our world.
Today, as we head into the last two days of NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER, I am reminded that there are a lot of things that need to be changed in our world. I am reminded that there is more work to be done in areas both political and personal. There is room for change and, yes, a desperate need for it in many areas.
I am also reminded of answered prayers. Of how God has provided. Of how things used to be and how far we’ve come. Of progress made and of relationships that are in my life as a result of those changes. I am grateful.
Yes, I am grateful…and also convicted. How often have I complained instead of praying? How long have I ignored instead of helping? I’ve found that my life walk tends to correspond to my prayer life. (ouch.) How can I expect God to respond when I remain in neutral? If I am to change the world where I live, what am I to do next? How can I take this discipline of watching my words and curtailing my complaints and move forward toward the peace I want for the relationships I’m in and the world where I reside?
I cannot change it all, but I CAN PRAY–and I CAN put hands and feet to those prayers where they intersect with where I am today. I can choose to be kind. I can choose to smile first. I can offer to help. I can be intentional. I can continue to incorporate NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER into the other 11 months of the year and use my words to build up rather than destroy. I can push past my own comfort barriers and look to the needs of others.
What can YOU do where you are? What prayers will you pray? What words will you use? What actions will you take and what difference will you make where you live?
We will never make changes in the world that we aren’t willing to make within our own hearts first. Don’t be discouraged by that “small start” and don’t ignore the importance of it! If we each make and then model that choice of personal responsibility for our words and deeds, the whole whole world would change…and some of our prayers would be answered a lot sooner than we might think. It’s easier to pray for “the other guy” to change, isn’t it? That way we don’t have to think about how we might be contributing to the problem instead of being part of the solution. (again, ouch.)
There’s a small sticky note over my kitchen sink that says, “If all your prayers were answered, would it change the world or just yours?” It’s my reminder to pray larger prayers…to become a person of influence and to be ready to change the world right where I am, first, by praying while I go about even the most mundane of tasks and, second, to be God’s representative out in the world as I leave my home. (now there’s a job for us!)
We’ve made a good start toward positive change in the world this month by participating in NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER! Now, whatever shall we do next? (smile) Just something to think about…while you continue to curtail those complaints for the next two days…
Grace and Peace! (and NO COMPLAINTS!)