Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Bigger Picture: Am I contributing to the Wasted Generation?

It all began with Exodus.

Well, not all because I certainly know that really the world as we know it began in Genesis, but rather I had this epiphany while studying Exodus:

I am a HUGE whiner. Or grumbler. Or complainer. However, you want to term it, I'm really into griping about everything. Of course, most of this complaining is done in my head because no one would want to be in a ten mile radius of me if I said it all aloud, but that doesn't make it any less bothersome. In fact, it makes it more bothersome because not only am I a whiner, I'm a closet whiner. And anything you do while looking over your shoulder to see if anyone is watching is never good. Anyway, it all started when I got irritated at the Israelites for their constant complaining.

First they complain about being slaves in Egypt. So God sends Moses to lead them out.

But it doesn't happen fast enough, so they complain some more.

Then the Pharaoh, who is holding the Israelites in bondage, increases their struggles by taking away the supplies they need to do their work but still expecting all the work be done. So they complain about the process by which God chooses to free them. All the while they are complaining, God is striking Pharaoh and the Egyptians with some freaky-serious plagues (read: boils on the body and frogs on every square inch of Egypt), yet the Israelites are spared. And they still complain.

So finally, Pharaoh lets the Israelites leave, and then they complain some more. They question how God provides even after he parts a freakin' sea for them to pass through unharmed. They complain about the lack of water. So God provides some wells. They complain about the lack of food. So God sends manna every day for them to eat. They complain, complain, complain, and their constant complaining was enough to send me over the edge.

"Come on, meatheads," I grumbled in my mind, "if God parted the Red Sea for me to walk through so I would no longer enslaved, what would I have to complain about?"
"If God provided wells in the middle of a desert for me to drink from ..."
"If God miraculously grew manna out of mist droplets on the sand ..."
"If God made it so that my shoes never wore thin ...."
"If God sent a cloud daily to protect me from the sun ..."
You get what I'm saying.

So in my head (because remember, I'm a closet griper), I'm really coming down pretty harshly on the Israelites. I actually like that God refers to them as stiff-necked people because it brings a little justice to the situation, and I want to scream out and chastise God for even bothering with such an ungrateful, irritating bunch.

And then I see this video:


And it hits home. Had I been part of the Israelite group, I would have been right there with the best of them grumbling about how perhaps God could send us different flavors of the manna he miraculously provided in the desert or about how I wished a gal could get some ice for her well water. I'm part of that wasted generation to which Louis CK is referring; I have actually yelled at my iPhone when it took more than two seconds to download a page on the Internet. Yup, that's me. I'm the gal who wants to chuck her phone across the room when it takes too long to travel all the way to space and back to connect to the Internet.

Sigh.

I'm a part of that bunch of stiff-necked people thousands of years later.
I'm grateful God bothers with such ungrateful bunches. I'm grateful He bothers to deal with me.

6 comments:

  1. I hear ya. (I love that clip by the way! So great!)
    Lately I have been loving the fact that as I read the Bible as an adult I have the ability to see all those bible stories, that I learned as a kid, as reflections of my own heart. (My most recent: Gideon & Jonah) I mean it kinda stings realizing that I'm like the people we all heard bad things about in sunday school -- which is a good prompter to change. But at the same time its amazing, because I can see just how much God loves me through the way he has worked with his people in the past who have hearts like mine. He doesn't just say "forget you, you're not perfect" he uses them right where they are. I have been totally endeared by that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm grateful that God bothers with all of us too. Great post. I think I should get back into studying the Bible again. There is so much that can start your thinking and hopefully elevate your perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of the glory of God and it is as a free gift that they are being declared righteous by his undeserved kindness through the release by the ransom paid by Christ Jesus." - Romans 3:23,24

    Admitting we have a problem is the first step to recovery. We're on the same journey. As soon as I think I've mastered one shortcoming, I am reminded that I'll never master it on my own. Best wishes on your journey to being more positive!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hy this was a great post, it really made my day!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Never a good idea to look down on the Israelites! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. You know... you make a really good point. Focus on the positive... focus on the positive. Hopefully if I keep repeating it to myself, it will sink in!

    ReplyDelete

There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.

ShareThis