That would be the 11th commandment if I were writing them: THOU SHALT NOT WHIMPER.
In this life, every one of us will on occasion find excuses to sit and whine that things aren’t fair. It will have nothing to do with outside circumstances. Rotten experiences hit us all.
It isn’t that either you or I face such life challenges. It is precisely what you and I do with and about them.
Right now there are many in our American culture whose chief profession seems to be to sit, whine and expect to be waited on. Education and background seem to matter little. Many a degree is being grass- and dirt-stained because its holder has chosen to make a career of sitting while others choose to get busy doing something.
I find it interesting that God rarely got after Moses. Yet He quite often had to remind Joshua: “Be strong and of good courage!”
The whiner, the whimperer would say, “About what? What’s there to be strong and courageous about? Nobody’s willing to give me a hand.”
Know what I’ve found? With very few exceptions, there are two working hands in your life, and they’re right at the end of each arm. Same thing’s true for me.
When you or I decide to stop whimpering about how rotten life’s become and how uncaring others are, we’ll start looking around for the means to help ourselves.
The Bible’s chock full of stories how men and women just like you decided to take God at His word, get up and get to moving on.
Then you know what happens? Other whimperers see us moving on with life, using what we’ve got to work with until God provides more. Everybody’s helped just by knocking off this incessant whining and choosing to get up, get busy and get ahead.
Sure, it takes what my mother called gumption. Elbow grease. The willingness to make do until you can make better. It takes what Gandhi called an indomitable will.
But the Bible’s chock full of stories how men and women just like you decided to take God at His word, get up and get to moving on.
There are only 10 Commandments. I get that.
How about let’s agree that there’s an unspoken, unwritten eleventh one that simply reminds us all:
THOU SHALT NOT WHIMPER.
© d. dean boone, april 2015