In sermon preparation for 8/2, I'm fascinated with the Israelite's complaining. Comes up again and again and appears to have been a factor contributing to the elongated journey of forty years. Yuh think??!
Just what IS complaining? Could it be the shadow side of vision? Where there is no vision, the people complain (to paraphrase)? Where I've lost my vision and hope for that vision, do I complain? My vision might be personal, for a family member, or for the church, the nation, or some other person or entity.
What about those "visions" for others? I'm thinking of the youth pastor who came to a church where folks complained about the length of his hair. Their former youth pastor had been a more formal sort, often seen in a grey suit. He also had a crew cut, hair standing straight up and oh, so neat. When the elders complained about the new youth pastor's hair and casual attire, and to their credit, to his face, they asked a question. "When are you going to stop looking like a shaggy mop with a funky handle?" HIs response was, "So you'd rather me look like a grey toothbrush?" The elders had a vision for their new youth pastor, predictably the vision embodied by the one they liked. It is easy to have a vision for others, and when it isn't shared for whatever reason, vision transitions to complaint.
Complaining, at least mine, becomes an enjoyable exercise, delicious in a way, and then where am I?
What say you regarding the complaining you hear, and the complaining you do, or these thoughts I proffer?
Mary on the prairie ~