Cold and Tired?


I think it's safe to say that most everyone in Minnesota is tired of the weather. Winter has lasted unusually long, and March, normally a springtime month, is now half over without any sign of greenery. From Facebook statuses to Instagram pictures to tweets about the Winter Weather Advisory and the snow accumulations of up to five inches tomorrow, most everyone seems to be feeling a bit dreary or, in fact, angry, about it all. And rightfully so! There is a public outcry against the elements. Remember this? When it was warm? Don't worry, it will come!

It's interesting how communal complaint often helps us through the hardest of times. If we all can gripe about the geometry final tomorrow or make a fuss about how behind we are at work, then perhaps...just maybe...we'll make it through. I often struggle with the line between some good, old-fashioned explanation of emotions and classical whining. There is certainly a place for the collective grumble---it is how we learn to sympathize, how we become alert of the need to encourage, and it is often where we draw strength.

However, I think it's also easy, and unfortunately common, to raise a stink that sucks all the joy out of a work week, a friendship, or even the art of daily living. Things looked bleak, and now, things are looking even bleaker because of all the negativity. It's a difficult line to draw, but I think it's worthy of looking into. You don't want to be stuck, wet and miserable, under a soggy newspaper when you have the opportunity to be sailing through the storm, telescope out, torches lit, and the hope of a warm hearth in your near future.

I challenge you in this. Are you really creating an arena where others can gather verbally and emotionally and draw strength and joy, or are you simply grouching and bellyaching at others' expense? If you're sad, overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious, by all means, let some of your community know. But this might look like talking with one or two trusted friends, asking for prayer, or verbally processing what's happening. It also looks like coming to God with your troubles. As cliche or annoying as it might sound to just "give it to the Lord," it truly is amazing what a little journaling or praying can do. Sometimes you just need someone else to know how you feel. It's a relief that we can repeatedly come to a God who will never let us down, think we're annoying, or shame us for our emotions.

Best of luck in the push toward less complaining. It's a habit that I have definitely been guilty of before and often still struggle with. It can take a lot of conscious effort to change. But it is possible.

Goodnight, and drive safe tomorrow.