Complain or Smile


“Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” – Philippians 2:14

The small aircraft lifted off from Sea-Tac Airport into beautiful sunny skies. As we climbed up and away from the bustling city and headed toward Yakima, Washington, the most awesome view of the Cascade Mountain Range unfolded before my eyes. Majestic snowcapped peaks glistened above the clouds in all their glory.

I was feasting on God’s lovely piece of handiwork when a little boy a few seats in front of me started jumping up and down shouting, “Good-bye city!” “Good-bye people!” Good-bye Mountains!” His little voice was raised in excitement as he tapped the window, looking down and shouting still more good-byes. As the flight attendant walked by, a businessman directly behind and across from this lad and his caregiver pulled the flight attendant aside. In shrill tones, he expressed his displeasure at the little guy bouncing noisily around. He stated he had a headache and could not take any loud activity at the moment. The attendant waited a few minutes, hoping the little boy would calm down a bit. However, upon seeing the scowl on the irritated man’s face, she walked over to the caregiver and explained the situation. The lady talked to her little charge for a minute and suddenly he became silent, putting his small face to the window and hardly making a sound for the rest of the flight.

It is easy to spot someone else being a grump, but is it possible we act that way sometimes too? How often do we complain or murmur over little things that bring temporary irritation or interruption? When we see others bursting with happiness do we grumble under our breath, wondering why they are so happy? When a neighbor is up early and whistling a merry tune as he works in his garden, do we shut our window as we try to read the paper, and hope he goes inside soon? If we can see ourselves here, we need to talk to the Lord about this attitude. He wants us to find joy in all things.

Next time a bothersome distraction comes across our pathway and makes us murmur or get upset, let’s turn our heart toward God and talk to Him about it. If we do, we will find that the frustration soon vanishes and a peace will fill our hearts. God will help us, as Paul wrote to the Philippians, “do all things without murmuring and disputings.”