the weight of others’ whining

Posted: March 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

One more round of pondering aloud today about my Old Testament reading.

As I listened to the first part of Numbers 11 this morning, I heard the weight of others’ whining crushing Moses.  The people have been out walking away from slavery in the desert, on a great tour of miracles, but they are getting tired and crabby.  They are whining about the food situation.  They are tired of manna.  They want to go back and be slaves again – they have forgotten the pain of that situation and can only remember the variety of food.  They are living on the all-complaint channel, and Moses can’t take it anymore.

He goes to God, and his own complaint rises.  Something like, “Why did you put me in charge of this bunch of whiners?  It’s too much!  It’s too heavy!  I can’t take it!  If this is the way it’s gonna go, please, I beg you, just kill me now.  Can’t you at least do that?!”

If you’ve ever been in charge of a group of people or some kind of project, maybe you know where Moses is coming from.  The weight of others’ whining can take a difficult situation – or even a pretty mild situation! – and make it too much to handle.  The noise of the whine can rise so high that the situation itself doesn’t even matter anymore – the problem becomes just how to stop the noise.

If you’ve been a boss with a loud whiner on your crew, you know the dread you feel when you see them coming down the hall.

If you’ve worked with customers of any kind, you know that someone stuck in a whine will often refused to be satisfied, no matter what your effort.

If you’ve tried to counsel someone who focuses in on the whine, you know the futility that every conversation can become.

If you’ve been the parent of a toddler stuck in whine mode, you know how impossible it can be to find any solution in the moment.

I am reminded this morning to speak life – to approach difficulty with a positive attitude and a refusal to complain.  I am reminded that those who are leading us need to be approached in a way that they can HEAR – and that the whine blocks hearing.  I am reminded to be pat of the solution, and not part of the problem.

And I am reminded to pray for those who lead on any level, that they won’t be pushed to Moses’ plea – just kill me already! – in the face of those who refuse to step away from the whine.

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