Can’t whine, but…

I want to whine, but I’m told I can’t.
Too many other people have it worse than me.
Just look at all my recent blog entries.
Everything is supposedly going so good for me, broken car included, that there should be no whining.
But Dec. 27 meant my 47th birthday and no car or cake.
I took the day off to fix my car. It needed a starter. This meant borrowing my wife’s car. That meant driving my wife to and from work. In turn (note the cause and effect) it all meant a lot of time driving and little time actually replacing the bad starter on my car.
Finally, I bought the part at a parts store after spending yet more time trying to find it at a salvage yard.
Too much time had elapsed, so it was time to get my wife from work.
So Dec. 28, I get to the car, get the new starter out, jack the car up and put it on jack stands.
I crawl under and, Viola!, I note that the new starter bears no resemblance to the old one.
So that’s my sad tale of woe. Incomplete until the bill from a repair shop comes in because I gave up.
But I’m not supposed to whine.
The reason? Every day I talk to people on the telephone in a lot worse shape than I.
Used to be as a reporter I’d rush to a house fire or do a feature story on some newborn needing an organ transplant – stories that helped keep my life in perspective. Then later as an associate editor, I’d send out reporters to do those sort of stories. There was a time when I’d read the Associated Press wire and pray for those suffering in the articles I read.
The journalist’s saying “If it bleeds, it leads” applied at prayer time as well as for the day’s front page.
I sort of got away from that.
Currently, as I’ve written before, I work in a call center helping employees with their health care benefits, claims and woes. Trust me, had it not been for confidentiality the call center could have sent a lot of material to Michael Moore for his health care documentary “Sicko.”
In my mind’s eye every time I get those health insurance companies to accept an employee’s eligibility for benefits I take a rubber stamp that reads “HMO” and make another impression on my cubicle wall in the same way fighter pilots used to paint each enemy kill on their plane’s fuselage. It can be satisfying work, but the pay is comparable to journalism, i.e. little to none.
So that’s all I basically wanted to say – sometimes my life… has it’s downers but is not as bad as some other people’s. And without Jesus it would be even more of a downer.
There’s a clarity of thought the Holy Spirit gives that I don’t have if I’m in open rebellion against God. That may sound dangerous (and is) but you’d be surprised at how many “Christians” there are in that state of being. I’ve spent the greater part of my life there.
They get caught up in following rules and all the works they feel commanded to do and then finally give up and follow their own path through life, like me forgetting God’s word is a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Jesus doesn’t guarantee my life will get any easier just because I follow Him. The path may be clearer, but there are still obstacles to overcome. Now I have a way to overcome and a Savior who will guide me to overcome the world.
Thankfully, He forgives all those swear words I uttered when trying to fix the car.
Just writing that makes me feel better.
As far as what to do for you folks worse off than me (boy, does all this sound condescending) most of the time it comes down to praying and figuring out where I can help and where I can’t.

Hope you do the same for me.
Remember, despite my age and long time attending church and pursuing Christianity, I’ve only rarely felt connected to Jesus as my Savior through the years since professing Him my Savior at age 12.
I’m still growing up in many ways.
This whole blog entry reminds me in some ways of lyrics I thought were cool years ago – they applied to someone else, of course – written by Steve Taylor.

Who you tryin’ to kid, kid?
wrap it in a fine philosophy
who you tryin’ to kid, kid?
but your bottom line still says “me me me”
got your head together now?
got a way that’s better now?
who you tryin’ to kid, kid?

You’ll march if all the streets are full
a two bit closet radical
no time to check the end result
expedience is your catapult

Convictions make your skin to crawl
you act like you’re above it all
you say faith is a crutch for a mind that’s closed
you guzzle your crutch and shove it up your nose

excerpt from “Bad Rap (Who You Tryin’ To Kid, Kid?)” from the album “I Want to Be a Clone.”
The song’s complete lyrics are at Taylor’s website here .
I’m not kidding anyone anymore.
But I continue to work on the “me, me, me” part with God’s help.
Peace, ya’ll.


One Response

  1. In all things, give thanks.

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