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By Pastor Tom Hyde
First United Methodist Church 

Overlooking what we are given

 


Not too long ago the Super Bowl was the main topic of conversation. There was a lot of conversation about the shortcomings of the Broncos. As I listened to the criticism of the team, I was reminded of this definition from football coach Church Mills:

“A spectator is a person who sits 40 rows up in the stands and wonders why a 17 year old kid can’t hit another 17 year old kid with a football from 40 yards away...and then goes out to the parking lot and can’t find his car.”

We love to complain. Although the weather forecasters tell us that the weather this year is normal for February (It’s supposed to be cold and snowy in the winter in Nebraska), we really enjoy complaining about the weather and second-guessing the city snow removal crews.

That’s human nature. When the people of Israel were given the wonderful gift of freedom, and were lead through the desert toward a land filled with milk and honey, they could think only of their daily problems. According to one translation, they “murmured.” That is such a wonderful word. It describes the human condition so well. The Israelites complained about the lack of food and water, and when God provided those necessities, they complained about the lack of variety provided by God’s manna. When God provided quail, they complained about that, too. I guess it’s easier to notice our problems than it is to count our blessings.

We complain about our favorite team’s mistakes, and don’t remember the enjoyment they give us. We forget the hard labor of our snow removal crews as they work through the night so we can get out and about in the morning after a snow storm. We overlook the gifts God as given us, as we wish always for more.

If you spend your time looking for all the things that are wrong, you see the world through negative eyes. If your emphasis is on what you are missing, they you will never be happy. If you look at the blessings you have, you can see the world through eyes of love. Blessed people are more generous and happier.

This is a good time to remember the greatest gift of all, the love of Christ that holds us tight, even on our darkest coldest days. With that love, the importance little annoyances fade into the background. When things are the darkest, you can think on this:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” [John 3:16017 NRSV]

I hope you can remember to give thanks for your blessings, and that you always remember where you park your car!

Pastor Tom Hyde

First United Methodist Church

 

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