How Long Has It Been Since Your Last Complaint?

We went 20 days “sin quejas”, which means without complaints.

I even put a sign on the wall. You know, like the sign at Costco that says “120 days since the last injury”. And we added the days out loud together, until we rejoiced at 16, 17, 18, 19.

So I kept my promise and brought in ice cream for all three classes.

But I also brought pictures from my trip to Africa, and I remembered out loud to my students how I saw a boy wearing a dress because that’s what he had to wear.

Trade your complaints for thankfulness.

And how I saw a teacher using a piece of old mattress for an eraser.

Trade your complaints for thankfulness.

And how I saw people mile after mile at roadside stands, late in the night, earning their food money for the day.

Trade your complaints for thankfulness.

I pointed my student’s attention to the carpet in our room and the books on the shelf and the lights from the ceiling.

We’re rich.

And we have Jesus. We have all the gifts of Jesus –the grace, the love.

We cannot-

-we may not complain.

Paul says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)

Let’s not complain, I told my students. And they did not complain, because that’s something a person can decide.

And let us replace the complaining with thankfulness for all these good things, I said.

Thank you for the ice cream, Mrs. Fitzwater. They all said this on their way out the door, because that’s the natural response when a person gets something good.

And we have gotten so much good.