“Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliot
Be all there. Since the first time I read that quote, I have not been able to forget it. I recently realized how quickly I resort to complaining when something isn’t going the way I want it to. But every time I begin to complain about my situation or circumstance, God has a way of reminding me that I am here in this very moment for a reason. When I am at work, tired, and ready to go home, when I am in the middle of a task that is less than pleasant, or when I am having a bad day and I just want to go to sleep and forget about it, that quote from Jim Elliot comes to mind.
It is so easy to complain when things aren’t going as planned, or when we have to do something we dislike. Complaining is the natural, easy, and usually our first response. But we as Christians are not called to do what is easy. We are to fight the sinful reactions that come so easily and put them off. (1 Peter 2:11, Ephesians 4:22-24) So while it may be the easy thing to complain about how tired I am, or how much I want to be doing something else, it is not the right thing. It does not glorify God. And maybe that’s what we need to remember as Christians, that the hard response is often the right response, and when we do the hard things, we are becoming more like our righteous Father.
What if we began cultivating the habit of gratefulness instead of grumpiness? How much would our outlook on life and our responses to it change? Would we be more aware of opportunities to serve others? Would we be even more in awe of our Creator as we notice the details and blessings that we completely overlooked before? We have been given so much, and we often miss it because all we focus on is what we don’t like. I am so guilty of this.
So wherever we are, no matter how annoying or unpleasant the situation is, let’s be all there. Let’s be fully present, give it our all. Whether it’s at work, school, in the middle of a hard day, or doing chores around the house, let’s make it our goal to give God glory no matter what we are doing, both with our attitude and our actions. (Colossians 3:17) And instead of complaining about it, let’s look for things to give Him thanks for and express that thanks to Him. I believe it will make all the difference.