Some people just have certain particular and unique talents. One of my many unfortunate talents is to pick the absolute noisiest, shakiest, most obnoxious sounding shopping cart available every single time I go into a store. I mean, every time. It doesn’t matter if I wiggle it first, do a test run, or pick it because it’s the cleanest…I’m guaranteed to go trotting down aisle five browsing for bagels squeaking shrilly every step of the way. Add to that my two little sidekicks who chatter like magpies, strike up conversations with any random person who might look their way, and insist on singing as loudly as possible, and I can pretty much throw shopping with any sort of dignity out the window. There’s nothing to do but just smile and be thankful I’m not prone to shop lift, there is no way under the sun I would ever escape notice if I tried it. Just the tiniest squirt of oil, and my life would be so much more peaceful.
Have you ever been around a squeaky person? That person who has a complaint about mostly everything possible. That person who lets everyone know within thirteen seconds of conversation exactly what is currently going wrong in their life. That person who can’t keep an argument quiet or suffer an indignity without announcing it to the whole world. That’s the loudly squeaky person.
Then there’s the quietly squeaky person. Since I’m a resident expert on squeaky shopping carts (“buggies” here in the south) let me explain the quiet squeaker. It’s the one that only lets out a high little cheep at a time, but it cheeps precisely with every rotation of the wheel…a nice steady, get on your every last nerve, cheep cheep cheep. This kind of person doesn’t wail long and loud over injustices, but they make sure their grievances are still heard. The steady nag, the persistent frown, the stiff behavior…the complaint that doesn’t get uttered, but is heard loud and clear.
I’d love to tell you I’m never a squeaky person, but the truth is, I’m equally an expert at being an irritating person as I am at picking out annoying shopping carts. Even when I resign myself to true martyrdom and keep my complaints, worries, and bad attitudes to myself, God is still privy to all that obnoxious racket going on in my soul. The solution to a squeaky heart is just as easy as a squirt of oil is to fix a wheel. A squirt of thankfulness will quiet a complaint, a squirt of prayer will sooth a worrying heart, a squirt of forgiveness will smooth a troubled relationship, a squirt of patience will calm a ruffled spirit. Just a squirt. It’s not much. It’s not obtaining perfection by tomorrow. It’s not never messing up again. It’s just making a little effort right now. Because you know what happens when you ignore squeaks? They turn into big problems which take a lot more effort and a lot more time to repair. God has given us many, many simple ways to avoid huge pitfalls in life…but it’s up to us use them. One little squirt at a time.
Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: