Well…..that's possibly true.
While I can't claim to be right 100% of the time (97.8% is more accurate),
I suppose that my English minor has given me some inclination toward using words properly.
I like words to be used properly.
While I'm not going to bring up the whole "their/they're/there" or "your/you're" debacle….suffice it to say that my kids are oh-so grateful to have me around to edit their English assignments.
Grammar, of course, goes hand-in-hand with punctuation.
My poor daughter has to re-read many assignments when she refuses to stop at "end marks" or to slow down for the commas.
Haven't you seen the T-shirts with "Let's eat Grandma!/Let's eat, Grandma!" joke going around?
(Seriously…life and death matter there….)
In the same vein….I also believe that voice inflection can change meanings just as easily (if not more) then punctuation.
For instance….the word "sorry."
Said contritely…it shows true repentance.
Said loudly….it shows lack or sorrow with some anger.
Said sarcastically….it just asks for irritation.
And my new worst/best word?
Three little letters that pack a WALLOP of meaning.
In my experience it's commonly used as an excuse.
"I want dessert but I don't want to eat my broccoli."
"He called the front seat but I was already there."
"I think you told me, but I forgot."
"We understand you want another latte, but you've had 3 already."
I use that word myself quite often. If I am requested to do something, my scarily automatic response is:
"I'd like to….but I'm really busy now."
"Sounds like a good idea….but I don't know how."
"That works for other people….but that doesn't apply to me."
But God, what in the world am I supposed to do about 417 million orphans?
But God, apologizing makes no sense! It's his fault!
But God, I just sat down for some well-deserved "me" time.
But God, I've worked really hard for this break. Why should I do this work?
But God, I don't feel comfortable around that kind of person.
But God, who would ever care about reading what I write?
But God, it's too embarrassing!
But God, I'm sooooooo tired. I couldn't do it right anyway.
Excuses. Complaining. Demanding my own way.
And some of these are pretty valid issues! What CAN I do to end world hunger? It IS embarrassing to do certain things! I AM flippin' exhausted!
Insert another voice inflection here. Remove the whiny tone, and say the whole phrase quietly….with a stronger voice for the word, "God."
I don't know what to do here….but God does.
I don't want to forgive this person….but God does.
I don't have the energy to help anyone….but God does.
I don't understand why I'm doing this….but God does.
I don't have the ability to do this task….but God does.
The word no longer exists as an excuse.
It becomes an introduction to an alternative.
Some things are truly insurmountable or incomprehensible or completely overwhelming for us.
They are literally impossible to achieve.
BUT they are attainable, doable, achievable and right for God to do.
Years ago at my kids' preschool the children were trickling in for a Halloween party. As parents were driving through the parking lot and kids were running for the building….the unthinkable happened.
A little boy, about 3 years old, ran behind a minivan as it was backing up.
It ran him over with both tires.
Someone ran into the lobby screaming, "CALL 911!"
I ran to the parking lot and found the child laying on his back, tire marks across his little orange pumpkin shirt, not breathing.
He was little.
The car had smashed his chest.
His lungs had stopped doing what lungs need to do.
He should have been (and possibly was) on his way to heaven right then and there.
(But God….that's not fair! He's so young! But God….his mom's not even here to hold him! But God, it's a party…he was so excited! But God….it shouldn't be like this!)
Praying happened. CPR was done. Breathing started.
But God….in His wisdom…with his power….could and did save him.
It was nothing we horrified parents could do….but God could.
When we come across that inkling…that strange persistent idea that we are supposed to do a certain something…it may not make any sense at all. If it's from God though…that idea won't go away. It will continue to make itself known.
Do we whine, "But Gooooddddd…..that's impossible! I don't want to! That's crazy!"?
Well…yeah. We might.
And it might actually be crazy.
It might actually be impossible.
After the pity party has ended however…..maybe we should change our inflection.
It is hard. Perhaps humanly insurmountable. It's uncomfortable and odd. There will be adversity and it will seem too difficult to imagine.
But God will do it….and He will let us be a part.
If we just stop making excuses….and realize that His power is a pretty darn good alternative to our own.
And depending on Him instead of ourselves…
That's pretty glorifying to.