Giving Little Ground to Complaint

At work, my co-worker was grumpy and moody. After work I was too tried to make dinner so I ate whatever was edible from the fridge. I did warm up some tea in the microwave but got the tea too hot so it burned my tongue. Ugh. After eating, I put a load of dirty laundry in the machine, not even denting the dirty laundry pile, and then I went outside to mow the lawn in the hot humid air. Clearly, as the day progressed, my thoughts were marching into complaint land. Before going to bed, I read Washington’s Crossing,” by author, David Hackett Fischer, and reached the part when George Washington and his troops stayed up all night to cross an icy river, then hiked many miles through snowy woods and worsening weather. Just as a snow storm hit, the troops surprise attacked the enemy and the Revolutionary War made a crucial turning point for America.

My conscience was pricked. I had nothing to complain about compared to George Washington and his soldiers.

The word “complaint” has two definitions, a protest, or an ailment. Basically, I was squeezing myself into the protest box by protesting against my co-worker’s attitude, the laundry, and the weather. However, my protesting was only setting myself up for either forward or backward action. Sure, George Washington and his army may have been complaining but their minds were moving on to the next step of responding with dignity and strength, instead of insisting on whining and basically quitting.

It reminds me of King David. In Psalms 142, we read, “I cry aloud to the Lord; I life up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble. When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way.” (NIV) David was simply pointing out that he did have an ailment or condition that needed dealing with and apparently working out the problem with God proved best.

Energy spent on getting rid of complaint has a lot of waste whereas energy spent of responding to complaint as though it has less, or no power to stop the enthusiasm and innovation coming directly to us from God. A bumpy lumpy day is not all that unusual—it’s part of the human nature—however, our spiritual nature, a.k.a. Christ, is designed to help us admit a complaint has no attraction or hold on us. We are full of praise, thanks, and admiration, all of which is best directed to God, divine Spirit who is guiding us forward into the land where love and truth wins.

About the Author: Cheryl Petersen’s book is "21st Century Science and Health." She is a freelance writer and correspondent for The Delaware County Times and living in New York. Cheryl blogs at and as Everyday Spirituality at