Grumble Street or Thanksgiving Avenue

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

It’s easy to spend our lives living on Grumble Street. I find myself so often looking around complaining about the way things are or the things I don’t have.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that we ought to have a different attitude. He wrote in Thessalonians 5: 16-18, “Always be joyful, pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. This is what God wants you to do in Jesus Christ.” Now that is an attitude–thankingGod for whatever happens!

I remember reading once about a huge Women of Faith Conference. The president , Mary Graham, talked about how oftentimes they would have more people attending than the conference area could accommodate.

She told of how once the floor area had 150 fewer chairs than needed. The way the problem was solved was by using narrow chairs and leaving no space between chairs. Every women would have a chair, but it was very crowded.

You can imagine the complaints that began to emanate. Women were complaining about the narrow chairs and how close people had to sit to each other. Mary Graham indicated that the whole conference was developing an attitude of grumbling about the conditions.

One of speakers that evening was Joni Eareckson Tada. A childhood diving accident had left her wheelchair-bound. Mary Graham asked Joni if she would mind going out to address the crowd before the program started.

Joni had someone roll her out onto the platform in her wheelchair. She simply said, “I understand some of you don’t like the chair in which you are sitting. Neither do I. but I have about a thousand handicapped friends who would gladly trade places with you in an instant.”

You can imagine that the whole attitude of the conference changed. People didn’t want to sit and participate in the grumbling. They began to focus on the things for which they were thankful.

I think it was Will Rogers who once said that we ought to do away with Thanksgiving Day and make it Grumbling Day. He said we ought to set aside one day of the year where we did nothing but complain, then we ought to spend the other 364 days being thankful. It sounds like a good idea.

Maybe this week is a good time for many of us to make a move.

Move from Grumble Street to Thanksgiving Avenue. There are plenty of places available on Thanksgiving Avenue and God is ready to help us make the move.

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