You Are Now Leaving Whine Country.
(as seen on www.lolwithgod.com 8-13-2011)
I was telling my daughter Jennifer about the beautiful drive through wine country in our city of Temecula.
Seven-year-old Connor was sitting nearby. He looked up and asked, “Is that where people go to complain?”
We laughed and I said, “Isn’t he the cutest thing.”
Later, I thought about Connor’s remark. What if there was a place we could go to complain; not just a customer service desk or an 800-number, but a whole country where people walk around, sour looks on their faces, moaning and groaning to their heart’s content.
How long would they stay? Would they want to leave? How would they get out?
Wait a minute! I think I’ve seen that sour look. I’ve heard that moaning and groaning. It’s been me! Maybe I haven’t been verbal about it, but sometimes that complaining has taken place in my heart:
“I wish I could go to Hawaii.”
“Why can’t I be like her?”
“If I had more money, everything would be better.”
“My life is full of hard work. “
“When do I get a break?”
“He just doesn’t understand me?”
For years I cared for my Grandma Jay. My six children were younger and five were still at home, my husband worked hard to provide for us and, like many families, we went from paycheck to paycheck. Grandma lived with us until she needed more care and we had to move her to a care facility.
I would visit two or three times a week, pick up her laundry, bring her home on Sundays for family dinners and make sure she got her hair done. While I was visiting I would straighten her room. Grandma had a habit of putting food in her bedside table and it was a mess. She had given everything up and this was one way of keeping her independence, making choices, but I didn’t see that. All I saw was “stuff” that needed to be done. Well, Grandma didn’t like me straightening up; she did, “Just fine, thank you very much.”
One day she couldn’t take it anymore. Her little 98-pound frame trembled with all of the anger she could muster, and she said, “Judy, you’re enough to make a preacher swear!”
I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to defend myself so bad. I was helping her for goodness sake.
Didn’t she know the sacrifices I was making?
Many people would have agreed with me. I had circumstances I could whine about. But thank God I didn’t do that.
I took her little face in my hands and said, “Grandma I’m going to love you whether you like it or not.” You know, I think I saw the corners of her mouth turn up into a smile. From then on I did the straightening up when she was in the bathroom.
Philippines 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (NAS) *
God’s Word covers every situation. Over and over we’re told to forget about ourselves and become bond-servants, slaves if you will, of Jesus and follow Him. Why? Because everyone wins. Grandma won because she received love and respect; I won because in putting her first I experienced the peace and joy that always follows acts of obedience.
I had left Whine Country and it was good.
* For further reading: John 15:10-17
Changing You, Little by Little.