Monday, November 16, 2009
Almost as ubiquitous as the phrase "Oh, My God"...
(which we discussed at length in this post) is a single word that continues to emanate from the mouths of Generation X, Y, and Z'ers everywhere, even though most of them should have long since left behind the ranks of the terminally impressionable and entered adulthood, taking their rightful places in the world of consumerism, materialism, and participation on such television programs as Color Splash and My First Place and Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader? that distribute goodies, monetary and otherwise, to which they feel entitled.
What was I saying before I so rudely interrupted myself?
Oh, yes. A word. That word is: "Awesome!"
Absolutely everything nowadays, it seems, is awesome.
An iPhone is awesome.
The dollar menu at McDonald's is awesome.
Your new recliner is awesome.
The color of your neighbor's new car is awesome.
Twitter is awesome.
Your parents being old enough to qualify for Medicare is awesome.
Those new shoes you bought today are awesome.
Being able to get away to the beach this weekend is awesome.
The fact that hot dogs were on sale at the supermarket is awesome.
Your favorite carbonated beverage is awesome.
Are you kidding me?
Let's start a campaign to reserve the word "awesome" for things that truly deserve it. Here are a few candidates for your consideration:
A brand new baby.
The ________ Mountains. (fill in range of your choice)
The Grand Canyon.
The night sky filled with stars.
Thunder and lightning.
The Great Barrier Reef.
The Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou beside me sitting in the wilderness.
Someone is saying, "Well, maybe not that last one."
Hold on there. Not so fast. The author of the Biblical book called Proverbs had some definite thoughts on the subject:
"There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four things which I know not: the way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid." (Proverbs 4:18-19)
Now, those are awesome.
My English blogger friend, Mr. Yorkshire Pudding, recently traveled from his home in Sheffield, Leeds, halfway 'round the world to visit Chile, Argentina, and Rapa Nui (Easter Island to you) and fulfilled a lifelong dream of his. Undoubtedly he has added a few new items to his list of things that are truly awesome, like moai and Aconcagua. And, unlike most of those Generation X, Y, and Z'ers I mentioned earlier, he is right. [A correction: I should have said "Sheffield, Yorkshire" and not "Sheffield, Leeds" -- thanks to YP himself for pointing this out in a comment. --Yours for accuracy in media, RWP, 17 Nov 2009]
But I want to suggest to you, my faithful readers, that the most awesome thing of all is the love of God. I know some of you don't believe this, but I must say it anyway; it is part of the contract. Probably the most well-known verse in the Bible is John 3:16; the evangelist Billy Graham used to quote it all the time: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Trust me, that is awesome. Why should God love us? Some of us are real stinkers. Some of us do far more harm than good. Some of us kill one other and boast about it. But God loves us enough that His Son died to save us, voluntarily. The best human analogies I can come up with are organ and tissue donors, who give part of their own bodies to save others, and firemen, who go into burning buildings to rescue the human beings inside. They are awesome, and ought to inspire eternal gratitude in the rescued. But Jesus Christ gave Himself to be crucified to save us, and Father God brought about his Resurrection as a stamp of approval.
It isn't even Sunday, and here I am preaching. Some would say I've quit preaching and gone to meddling. Please forgive me. Here's a group singing a song that says what I'm trying to convey better than I possibly could.
The Gaither Vocal Band
What do you know! Here they are again!
And some of you may be asking, "Why should I love God? What has He ever done for me?"
Keep thinking. It will come to you.