“Sure, sounds great,” I say. . . and mean the total opposite.
If I told you to picture a complainer, you probably wouldn’t cue up a mental picture of someone smiling with her head nodding. We grumblers can be hard to spot. Lately, the silent grumbles are sticking to me like summer cockelburs on socks. I find myself caught up in stickery thoughts as one builds on another until I’ve walled myself into a den of negativity–blocking out positive light.
In these negative wells, I’ve never spent much time thinking on the second commandment–not prone to F bombs or GDing anything–but this Sunday “not taking the Lord’s name in vain” stretched from a simplistic rule to a deeper plumb line for interaction. Taking God’s name in vain can include “any time I demean or diminish another human being.”
Suddenly my grumbling doesn’t seem so silent.
I want to take the grossness of these thoughts out to the woodshed for an old fashioned rumble. Willing myself to not grumble, I come up short, as negative thoughts tip-toe back in. Avoidance doesn’t work, only action wiggles the wall, brick by negative brick. Grumbling thoughts can’t stand hanging out with positive ones, so thankfulness works like a wrecking ball.
Angela Maiers wields her own sledgehammer in her Ted Talk, You Matter, and her resulting foundation, Choose2matter, in both she challenges us to see others and remind them of the fact that they matter. What if we started noticing people mattering all around us, and not just noticing, but recognizing the action, behavior or disposition OUT LOUD. So, “Thanks for the work you did,” becomes “Thanks for your hard work with that student. I liked how you got down to eye level and really listened to her concerns. You made a difference for Susie today–you mattered.”
What if we shifted from the tendency to build walls of negativity and started erecting strongholds of confidence around others–telling them how we see God’s light reflecting through them. What if we made it our mission to daily remind others of their value? Do you have the courage to see? Others AND yourself–the way God sees you, no matter how wonderful it might be?
You matter. When it seems like everyone isn’t seeing–I SEE. I have a special place in my heart for you. Your contribution to this world made a difference today. Thanks for just being YOU–the poem I created you to be.
If the creator of galaxies, and whales, and the color magenta says this about us, just what type of words and thoughts should we use for people who seem to set our grumble wheels a spinnin’?