…Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith… Hebrews 12:1b-2a
In honor of the end of a year filled with=racial tension, pandemics, heated debates over small bits of cloth, and other nonsense, I thought it would be fun to incorporate one of my favorite quotes from The Princess Bride into a blog series. That is, assuming I have time to write said series, and assuming anyone still reads blogs since I’ve been MIA dealing with analog life stuff for a few months.
Who am I kidding? Analog life keeps me busy enough that the only time I’ve actually had to write was during my COVID-19 infection quarantine when my brain decided to socially distance itself from the rest of my body and what was left behind behaved as if a good 14 hours or so of sleep provided only enough energy to maintain a semi-conscious state for the remaining 10 hours of the day.
Not a single minute of which became writing time.
Still, this quote is appropriate for the “It’s not religion; it’s a relationship,” rather backwards, inside-out, and top-down sort of non-religion-religionesque type of thingie that the world calls Christianity.
And so, from the mouth of the beloved fencing expert/professional vengeance-seeker, Inigo Montoya, I give you one of my top 127 favorite quotes from the movie:
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Yes that’s right, I’m going to dip my toes into the murky tide of how some words are commonly used as opposed to what they actually mean.
In doing so, I imagine I will step on a few toes and maybe stub mine a time or two. Even still, I think it’s a good practice to stop and think about the words we are tossing about like whiffle balls in case they might be hand grenades.
Or at least, maybe we should take a moment to explore the words we are using to ensure the sounds coming from our faces are being interpreted according to our intent.
I know, I know…
Stay tuned for an irregularly-published series on words and their meanings…
For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
This crazy year…
It’s possible I may ruffle a few feathers or step on some toes here, but may I say I’m an equal opportunity ruffler? I try to dishevel and tread equally without taking sides… except the Lord’s side. When it comes to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, I won’t budge a millimetre. I belong to Him, you see.
We kicked off 2020 with wildfires in Australia. Of course, there was also the now-standard biological dementia which is Relativism’s crowning achievement… and it’s all been downhill from there.
A global pandemic, COVID-19, brought widespread lock-downs and economic closures, disrupting the rhythms of an entire planet.
In its wake came economic instability, fear, and the inevitable conspiracy theories. These began a fatal feedback loop, drawing fear out of a tense environment, amplifying it, and pumping it back into the social current.
Thus was born COVID-Madness. Riding the wave of this new socio-psychological pathology came a series of social-media opinion wars cleverly disguised as “facts.”
The pandemic is real and will kill all of us. The numbers of COVID deaths are crazily high, killing more people than the seasonal flu – and here’s a graph to prove it.
NO, the numbers are inflated by the rich and powerful for… reasons. The flu kills more people – and here’s a graph to prove it.
You’re a hopelessly deluded sheep if you wear a mask in public.
You’re a callous, selfish humanity-hater if you don’t wear a mask in public.
People, we need a vaccine to fix this thing so we don’t all die!
No, the vaccine is an evil plot to microchip everyone and infect them with retroviruses so the rich and powerful can become richer and more powerful …
(…I suppose so they can spend their vaccine-inflated wealth burying everyone they slaughtered with their vile plan as they skillfully document graves via microchip technology, then dance about a lonely world populated solely by giant murder hornets and other wealthy mask-wearing vaccine-givers, clutching their money and laughing manically ???)
Thanks, guys. All very helpful and supportive. Really, we needed more division in the country. And this only gets us through April or so.
As if my country wasn’t already on edge, yet another series of what appeared to be racially-motivated killings slammed racial tensions back to the forefront. Many people I love who happen to have more melanin in their skin are hurting and angry – for good reason. I am hurting and angry.
I may be a white woman but I’m still human. So are my brown friends and family. The last thing I want is for a single one of them to be gunned down in the privacy of their home, chased down and shot in the streets, have the life literally squeezed out of them, or some other atrocity all due to a social sickness birthed in slavery and perpetrated by the bizarre human love-affair with evil, division, self, and sin.
Protests were begun – rightly so. But of course, peaceful protests have a tendency to morph into riots. Especially when a country is already pregnant with unrest from a pandemic, quarantines and lockdowns, disinformation wars, and financial trouble.
And July is just around the corner…
I confess: Some days I am just tired.
Tired of hearing angry rhetoric and useless hype.
Tired of social justice movements that ignore actual justice from the perspective of the One who not only made the world but is its sole rightful Judge. Not to mention bearing the only correct assessment of right and wrong by merit of creating all the things…
Tired of a Church too willing to adopt social trends and too lax in her handling of the Word of Truth. (Note: I don’t mean a specific church body but the American church in general here…)
Tired of a people who are too busy defending their opinions to listen to the voices of others; too busy to listen to the Voice of Truth.
Tired of trying to speak of my God only to find my voice is only adding to the global cacophony.
And yet, I dare not stop speaking. I dare not stop trying. Lives are at stake. Eternally.
Lord, guide my words and my heart. Let them both be pure before You and purely Yours. You are the answer – the ONLY answer – to the problems we face. And though we may not like to hear it, the answer lies not necessarily in the here and now but in eternity.
In this world, we will have trouble. You have promised it! But in Your Son and through Your Spirit, we may also have peace – shalom – and we can take heart, because Your Son has already overcome the world. Help me remember that no matter how large the horde of propaganda is, this battle is Yours and Yours alone, amen.
… Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.