Do you know what really gets on my nerves?

Trying to find the end of the Scotch tape.

Car alarms.

TYPING IN ALL CAPS. TYPING IN ALL CAPS. TYPING IN ALL CAPS. 

This too. When you need some help and so you call the place that can help you and…you get an automated response. “Hit one for this, hit two for that.  Hit pound when you are so frustrated that you want to give up.” Then this: “All our representatives are busy, but your call is important to us, so please hold.”  If my call was important to them, then a human being would answer.

People who floss in public.  Yep, I saw it once on the square.  Ruined my lunch.

People who start sentences with: “No offense.”  Brace yourself; you are about to be offended.

Our world is full of things that irritate us.  Now, add the Corona Virus to the list. This new lifestyle is tough for sure.  Social distancing is not what church is about; church is about hugging and shaking hands and being connected, not disconnected. So, it really irritates me that church is taking on forms of connecting that is more distant and remote. 

It irritates me that I have to be cooped up at home for weeks, maybe months. I may go stir crazy, if not already. 

It irritates me that I can’t get the exercise that I was getting before Corona V hit.   Oh, sure I can walk outside, weather permitting, or walk the stairs and do some sit-ups, but I was doing so much more at the gym. 

So, there’s lots to complain about.  I could whine for weeks.

The problem with complaining is that we become ungrateful slobs.  Ingratitude takes over our lives, whereas gratitude changes our attitudes, our outlook, and keeps those gosh awful irritations from taking over.

There are so many things for which to be grateful: medical personnel who are at greater risk than most; farmers who keep growing crops and grocery stores that stay open so that I can live; Netflix and Amazon Prime so that I can binge watch; flowers which are in full bloom; good books; garbage collectors; pizza delivery; Marie Callender’s frozen dinners; Adele and The Beatles to keep me company; laughter with Natalie; thoughtful Christian friends who check on me; prayer; and the church of Jesus Christ which will survive this Corona mess. 

When the great Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel suffered a heart attack from which he never fully recovered, a friend visited him in the hospital.  Heschel was barely able to talk, and so whispered to the friend: “Sam, when I regained consciousness, my first feeling was not despair and anger. I felt only gratitude to God for my life, for every moment I’ve lived. I’ve seen so many miracles.”

Amen.  

P. S. —BUT I DO WISH PEOPLE WOULDN’T TYPE IN ALL CAPS!

~Pastor Steve

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