We were in Nassau, Bahamas, admiring the view from the bulwarks of Fort Charlotte when he approached me. He was a fellow tourist, and I found myself thinking, “This must be another fan of the beauty surrounding us!” When he uttered his first few words however, I was utterly aghast:
“This is an awful, disgusting town!”
I looked around to see if I had missed some just cause for such foul language, but couldn’t find anything.
“It’s so much better in Florida!”
“You must be from Florida!” I assumed aloud.
“How did you know?” He asked, surprised.
Then he continued with his rampage: “Why don’t these people have more pride…?”
I decided to do something I’m quite good at: I began ignoring his comments, as I couldn’t get a word in edgewise anyway. My wife says it’s a man’s trait. We can act interested, yet not hear even a word that is said. I find it’s a useful tool, though it does lead to embarrassment at times…
You see, my personal experience from this tropical island was quite the opposite from this man’s observations. I have never met people more proud of their country than those in the Bahamas! And I sure do love their relaxed style of living. They may not have the same standards as in Florida, but it sure has a rustic, tropical flare!
The man from Florida finally wandered away, uttering some obscenities under his breath, and peace finally returned.
How often don’t we tend to complain about everything, only looking at the negative around us! We might have good cause, mind you, but have we forgotten that we live in a fallen world and that everything is tainted by sin? If we cannot enjoy the glimpses from heaven that God gives us, how can we expect to enjoy heaven itself?!
The apostle Paul urges us to enjoy the good things we have. Let’s not dwell on the negative, but instead, let’s fix our eyes on the blessings God has bestowed on us. There is beauty everywhere we go. We just have to look for it!
“When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.” (2 Cor 1:7 The Message)
“…looking at the diversity of bodies not only on earth but in the skies – sun, moon, stars – all these varieties of beauty and brightness.” (1 Cor 15:40-41 The Message)
“Discover beauty in everyone” (Rom 12:17)
In all reality, we are encouraged not to complain, but to consider others better than ourselves! Have you ever noticed that grumbling make everyone miserable?
“Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know.” (James 5:9 The Message)
“In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Phil 2:3-4 NIV)
“Look at those beautiful trees!”
“They are sure something!”
This is music to God’s ears!
(To access the entire “Heavenly Hash” devotional series, please click here.“