Sometime ago I read about an amusing incident which says more about human behaviour than we might care to admit! Two young men joined a construction crew commissioned to build a multi-storey office block. At lunchtime they perched themselves on an iron girder high above the ground and opened their lunch boxes. "I can't believe it" groaned Jack. "Peanut butter sandwiches again! I don't like peanut butter." With that he crumpled his sandwiches and hurled them to the ground 17 stories below.
Lunch on the second day was a repeat of the first and once again Jack threw his sandwiches away without eating them. This behaviour was repeated for several days until finally his colleague could restrain himself no longer and blurted out "Look Jack if you hate peanut butter sandwiches so much why don't you tell your wife not to make them any more." Instantly Jack snapped back "Don't bring my wife into this. I make my own sandwiches!"
What I find so fascinating about this trivial incident is that it shows how we often complain about the way things are , when we have nobody else to blame but ourselves! Regularly I come across individuals who complain about this or that in their lives but if the truth be told they are the cause of their own troubles. They are "their own worst enemy" or to use another well known phrase "they are the architect of their own destruction". For instance, I often come across people who complain that God seems distant from them, when in reality they they have caused this situation by not making enough time for Him in their lives. Or individuals complaining that God didn't guide them regarding some life-changing decision when in reality they caused the lack guidance by failing to uphold God first in their hearts. Or again, and this occurs almost on a daily basis, people complaining that they don't feel spiritually nourished, when all they need to do is open their Bible and start reading it properly and in depth on a regular basis. (And if they don't understand what they are reading then a journey to their nearest Christian bookshop is the solution).
And of course this lesson is true not just for the individual, but also for the nation as a whole. People bitterly complain about the state of society today and lament at the national problems we face, but who is to blame for these problems? The reality is that we have brought these things upon ourselves by not heeding the commandments God gave; the purpose of His commandments being to actually prevent the very problems we are complaining about! The answer to our difficulties is to return to following these laws and applying them once again to our national and personal life.
Scripture teaches that we are not like pieces of straw blowing randomly in the wind without any control concerning what happens to us, See 2 Corinthians ch 9:6, Galatians ch 6:7-9 and Romans ch6: 21-22. We are not mere victims of circumstance unable to control future events. On the contrary, regarding some highly important issues our future destiny very much lies in our own hands. Even regarding those issues that are clearly beyond our personal control we can choose for ourselves whether or not we are prepared for those events. In the days before slate roofs, Scottish crofters wouls spend time every summer preparing and strengthening their thatched dwellings for the coming winter. It wasn't in their power to stop the approach of bad weather, but it was in their power to be ready for it so their roofs wouldn't leak and their family kept warm and dry. We can't control events such as illness, bereavement and old age but we can be prepared and ready for them so that when they occur we aren't overwhelmed or broken in spirit.
The Bible teaches that we are responsible for what we do with our lives such as how much time we give to spiritual matters and how much we let God influence our thoughts, our words and our conduct. In time all these things have consequences. When a problem befalls us, (particularly if it is of a spiritual nature), we need to honestly ask if we have brought this trouble upon ourselves like the construction worker making his own sandwiches.And if we fins it so, instead of complaining we should do something about it and resolve the matter! If someone isn't spiritually nourished nourished they should pick up their Bible, if someone wants God's guidance, let them sort out their heart and if an individual wants to feel close to God, then let them make proper time for Him!
Our spiritual life is our responsibility, if it goes wrong, instead of complaining, we should do something about it. Many people are aware that WWJD stands for 'what would Jesus do?' but not so many are aware of TRIO! It stands for 'The responsibility is ours' If you are drifting away from God; then fix it! If you want to find God; then diligently search! The responsibility is ours to act!