Lately I've been realizing what a brat I am. I am so thankful that God is showing me this, because, as usual, it's only so that I can make the choice to either stay that way or be a better person.
Now, I don't think I'm more of a brat than the "average" person, but to me, that is no excuse. For one thing, I complain a LOT. Most of the complaints I make are inside my own head, but it's not any more fun for me to "listen" to them than it is for the people who get to hear the rest of my woes. I rely far too much on the things I like in my life - the things that make my life more convenient. If one of them is taken away even temporarily, I do not like it AT ALL. I whine and bathe myself in pity. It's disgusting. I read somewhere that a complaint is an emotional rejection of the circumstances God has put us in. Wow.
Thankfully, lately God has blessed me with an acute and immediate awareness of exactly how bratty I'm being, and most of the time I am able to put things into perspective and tell myself that it's not that big of a deal. Of course, SOMEtimes I decide to wallow in misery anyway. I am a stupid human.
One example of a lesson I'm learning is at church. Every other Sunday, I help serve tea before service. Tons of people come up and get tea or deplete the supply of ice water (which takes forever to build up) at speeds you wouldn't believe. If I had to pull a statistic out of thin air I'd say that 10% of the people say "thank you." I try to smile at and personally greet as many people as I possibly can. I say, "Hi, how are you today?" If I am lucky, I get a very quick, half-hearted smile in return before the person walks away, but sadly, most of the people act like I haven't said a word. (I used to think I was too quiet, so I started being louder but got scared, wide-eyed, "why is she shouting at me?!" looks in return.) It absolutely baffles me. I turn to the other girls and say, "HOW can people not even care when someone tries to talk to them? Why can't they even make eye contact?"
Then I get a tiny glimpse of how God must feel. He pours blessings on us, keeps us safe, tries to say "hi" in little and big ways all throughout our days, and how often do we look up and "smile" at Him? How often do we acknowledge what He is doing for us every single day? Shamefully seldom, at least in my case. But God does it anyway. He knew every huge and tiny screw-up we were going to make before he created this entire world, and He doesn't love us any less. That's kind of incredible, don't you think?
So I think I can put up with the gas in my house being off for the weekend. I think I can suck it up and show some extra love to the patient who is obsessed with pushing the call light all night, asking for someone to come fluff her pillows. I think I can continue to smile and greet the tea-takers every other Sunday whether they acknowledge me or not.
Of course, sometimes I'll feel sorry for myself anyway.