There’s an internet movement known as “A Complaint Free World.” It started in Kansas City in a church called Christ Church Unity, with a very simple idea.
Pastor Will Bowen passed out 250 purple bracelets and invited people to wear them. Then they were told to switch them from one wrist to the other every time they caught themselves complaining. The goal was to go for 21 days without switching wrists, thereby breaking themselves of the habit of complaining.
From that beginning, the group has now distributed more than 5.6 million bracelets worldwide. You can check out the movement at www.acomplaintfreeworld.org. There is a Complaint Free book, a Complaint Free t-shirt, a Complaint Free tote bag – there is even a Complaint Free cruise, setting sail next April.
What would the world be like without complaining? I suspect it would be quieter, for one thing! But I wonder how anyone would ever know that anything was wrong. Without someone to raise a complaint, how would a dangerous intersection get a stoplight or an unhealthy factory get cleaned up or a bully be reprimanded and fairness restored to the playground?
“Generation Xodus” complained – they complained a lot! This week in worship, we’ll look at Exodus 16, a chapter in which the people visit the “Divine Complaint Department” to file their grievances officially with Management. Various translations interpret the Hebrew word as “complaining,” “grumbling,” or “murmuring.” It comes from the verb lun, which has two meanings; to complain and to lodge or abide. (Did you ever wonder why we “lodge” a complaint?)
And here’s the deal: the people lodged their complaint, and God responded without hesitance. They were hungry, and God fed them. The question begs to be asked, “What would have happened had they not complained?”
What’s so wrong with a good complaint every now and then?
I’ll see you in church!