The Trouble with Tribbles

Sometimes, I get bogged down by lots of little troubles.  They eventually seem to multiply and cloud my vision.

That kind of reminds me of one of my favorite Star Trek episodes.  Captain Kirkmccartney tribble was tricked into letting a visitor bring some ‘tribbles’ onto the Enterprise.  And soon, the tribbles were multiplying faster than they could count.  The tribbles were getting into the control panels and air ducts, and eating all the food. While not necessarily dangerous, they were a nuisance for sure.  Scottie finally got rid of them by beaming them over to an enemy ship.

Troubles are like that.  Especially lots of ‘little’ ones.  Dealing with them or even thinking about them can drain us of energy, joy and hope.  So, how do we beam them out into space so we can think clearly again??  One way is to practice being thankful.  I know that sounds trite, and you are probably rolling your eyes right now, but this is a reminder that intentionally being thankful for the things we do have can draw our focus away from obsessing over what we don’t have.

One morning a few days ago, I was being buffeted by thoughts of lots of little troubles.  My worrisome nature was actually feeding my anxious thoughts and they were multiplying.  I was not even remotely inspired to be thankful.

I do ‘devotions’ each morning in which I read from my Bible, and then read some inspirational messages on my Bible app. That morning, I read this from Max Lucado (it refers to “Joseph” from Genesis 41: 51,52*):

Choosing to Be Grateful

Gratitude doesn’t come naturally. Self-pity does. Bellyaches do. Grumbles and mumbles—no one has to remind us to offer them. Yet they don’t mix well with the kindness that we have been given. A spoonful of gratitude is all we need.

Joseph took more than a spoonful. He had cause to be ungrateful. Abandoned. Enslaved. Betrayed. Estranged. Yet try as we might to find tinges of bitterness, we don’t succeed. What we do discover, however, are two dramatic gestures of gratitude.

Most parents go to great effort to select the perfect name for their child. Joseph did. These were the days of abundance. God had rewarded Joseph with a place in Pharaoh’s court and a wife for his own home. The time had come to start a family. The young couple was reclining on the couch when he reached over and patted Asenath’s round, pregnant tummy. “I’ve been thinking about names for our baby.”

“Oh, Joey, how sweet. I have as well. In fact, I bought a name-your-baby book at the grocery store.” “You won’t need it. I already have the name.” “What is it?” “God Made Me Forget.” “If he made you forget, how can you name him?” “No, that is the name: God Made Me Forget.”

She gave him that look Egyptian wives always gave their Hebrew husbands. “God Made Me Forget? Every time I call my son I will say, ‘God Made Me Forget’?” She shook her head and tried it out. “‘It’s time for dinner, God Made Me Forget. Come in and wash your hands, God Made Me Forget. I don’t know Joseph. I was thinking something more like Tut or Ramses, or have you ever considered the name Max? It is a name reserved for special people.” “No, Asenath, my mind is made up. Each time my son’s name is spoken, God’s name will be praised. For God made me forget all the pain and hurt I experienced at the hands of my brothers. I want everyone to know—I want God to know—I am grateful.”

Apparently Mrs. Joseph warmed to the idea because at the birth of son number two, she and Joseph called him God Made Me Fruitful. One name honored God’s mercy; the other proclaimed his favor.

This reading made me laugh, and reminded me I needed to practice my thankfulness more often.  And, it lightened my load.

I think the word tribble is a combination of the words trouble, and fribble.  I imagine we all know the definition of trouble, but one meaning of fribble is to fritter away; waste.  I’m going to try to be a little less tribbleful, and a little more thankful.                                                                                       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Joseph’s story can be found in the book of Genesis, chapters 37-50. He named his older son Manasseh, which means“God has made me forget all my troubles”, and he named his second son Ephraim which means,“God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.””

The excerpt is from “God Will See You Through”, You Version app.