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Today, we travel to Seattle.  Ruby has her PiPs (Players in Progress) performance with the Harlem Globe Trotters.  She and 55 of her closest friends will take the floor to present their routine, full of bounce-passes, around-the-worlds and suchlike.

Ruby doesn’t want to go.

It’s not unusual.  She hasn’t liked PiPs for a long time.  Usual complaints range from “we stand around a lot” to “it takes too long.”

Yeah, Ruby.  Practice isn’t sexy.  It takes time and effort and sweat and sometimes tears.  It’s the underpinning of any serious endeavor.  I won’t let her quit, however, because striving for something and learning to be a team is important.  You don’t learn that playing video games.  You don’t pick that up from reading books or painting pictures.  You learn from being around others and working toward a common goal.

I know I wrote about this last week, but here it is again.  We had a special speaker at church yesterday who talked about grumbling.  He said grumbling makes God angry.  God zipped Zacharias’ lip when he disbelieved the angelic visitor who told him his elderly wife  – barren their entire married life – would have a child.  Zacharias regained his ability to speak at the birth of his son John, not before.  Can you imagine?  Nine months of silence from your spouse.  Some of you are giddy at the possibility but it sounds lonely to me.

Complaining poisons the water.  It makes your life and the lives of those around you harder.  Elizabeth already had to contend with weight gain and the awkwardness of being pregnant late in life.  Any comments from the peanut gallery were unnecessary.

When Ruby’s complaints started today about driving all the way to Seattle and everything about it, I told Ruby the good things.  She gets to spend time with me.  She gets to see the Harlem Globe Trotters live, probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.  She will perform in front of thousands of people.  And if she messes up, PiPs simply “carry on”.  PiPs know they’re all lifetime learners.  No worries.

So we can “carry on”.  We can choose to look at what we have done, not what we screwed up.  We “zip our lips” when we want to whine.  We choose to remember what God has done and see His hand moving today.  We change our thoughts and change our confession and change our lives.

Carry on, friends.

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