My study of Jeremiah suggested yesterday that we seek for confirmation of what we think God is telling us to do. A message in church that seems particularly relevant for us, an opportunity that’s in line with our supposed messages from God, a sidebar ad like the sites we’ve been googling…

I made that last one up. But we know from research on the subject that humans look for patterns and believe in coincidences far beyond what’s rational, so that’s not good advice.

Today, however, we looked at success. We saw that plenty of the people whose stories are written for us in the Bible faced hardship, misery, pain, and death. God never said we’d be rewarded on earth for anything, nor that we would be punished for our actions on earth.

Jeremiah had a little hissy fit toward God on the subject, pointing out that the wicked lived in comfort while he was having a hard time. God was not sympathetic. But it was okay for Jeremiah to pour out his heart, even if he was being cross, judgmental, and whiny. The point is to whine and complain to God, not to other people.

I’m generally pretty successful, but I have certainly been whining about how much work I have. I’ve been thinking about others who don’t work as hard as I do but who benefit from my work. I’ve been feeling as though we must be doing something wrong to see so much apparent success and yet I still can’t take a vacation because there’s too much work to do and too few people to do it.

Okay, that’s not as bad as Jeremiah’s situation, but I have still been feeling pretty bratty about it.

The lesson for today is that we can be bratty — to God, and I suppose here in my journal — but we shouldn’t be going around whining  to other people. I’ll stop short of that.