But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. Acts 6:1 (NLT)
Of course there were rumblings of discontent. Rumblings of discontent have been a natural consequence of the human order ever since Adam and Eve bit the forbidden fruit. We are self-centered creatures and when things don’t go our way we rumble with discontent. Children rumble against parents when they don’t get their way. Parents grumble about rebellious, self-willed children. Students rumble at their teachers and teachers gripe about their students. Employees rumble with discontent towards their employers. Employers rumble with discontent at their employees. As a leader in our community theatre I get to deal with rumblings of discontent from audience members, actors, directors, members and city officials. Having been a member of many different churches over the years I’ve experienced rumblings of seismic proportions on many occasions and feel tremors of discontent every time I walk through the lobby on a Sunday morning.
So, why does it surprise us when it happens? Why do we have this notion that peace and tranquility are somehow the natural order in a fallen world, and why do we act so shocked and amazed when time and again we find ourselves rumbling in conflict? On this chapter-a-day journey through God’s Message we’ve encountered stories of people rumbling with discontent over and over and over and over since the beginning of recorded history. Time and circumstances change, but the discontented rumbling goes on through the eons.
Which is why, I believe, Jesus called us to the rather difficult, unnatural task of loving others more than we love ourselves. That’s the calling card. It’s what makes us stand out from others. Everyone loves themselves more than others, but who regularly puts others’ needs ahead of their own?
Today is my 46th birthday. It is the 16,803rd day of my Earthly existence. Over the past few weeks I’ve been spending a lot of time in quiet introspection. If I consider the averages I’m well on the downhill side of this journey, but I’m no where near where I want to be. I look in my own heart, examine my own thoughts, and inspect my words and actions. I find far more discontented rumbler than selfless lover. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
I want the second half of my journey to count more for God’s Kingdom than the first.