Saturday, April 28, 2012

Have an Amazing Day!


As I began to walk away from the ATM machine, I noticed the final message behind the screen in front of me.

“Have an amazing day!”

Not “Have a nice day,” – but an amazing day. Let ‘er rip. Go for all the gusto you can get.

Can you name an amazing day you’ve had in your life? 

I think of the day I got married. I have an amazing wife. That was an amazing day. When my kids were born, that was amazing. I have amazing kids. When I was a boy, seeing Willie Mays hit a homerun, that was amazing for a 14 year old. Or should I say A-Mays-ing. The first time I walked on the streets of Calcutta was amazing. It was a-maze of streets.

But most days are not amazing. I don’t usually say “Amazing, I paid the phone bill today.”
Or when I say, “Got the oil changed, honey.” My wife seldom replies, “Amazing!” (Although she might in this example)

Overstatement

We Americans, and maybe other countries too, I’m not sure, have the trait of overstatement.

“That was an epic fail.”

“Your front yard looks awesome”

“I am super hungry.”

“He’s an incredible artist.” (If not credible or believable that he’s an artist, when in reality he is, would that be good or bad?)

Suppose I did have an amazing day. Maybe I walked away from a head-on. Or we won $21 million dollars in the lottery. (I don't play the lottery) Or what if my income was doubled? Tripled? Or Obama invited me to spend the weekend in the Lincoln bedroom? Amazing!

What if every day was amazing? The unexpected, the spectacular, - school debts paid off, a promotion, that motorcycle you always wanted (or that I wanted), trip to the Bahamas, our loved ones were with us,  -  became a daily "routine." What a run of good fortune! Life would be amazing! My ATM machine's wish would be fulfilled.

Or would it? If every day was amazing, that would become normal. Then what would we call amazing? If the extraordinary becomes the ordinary, then extraordinary has no meaning. Maybe the ordinary then becomes extraordinary? Like any drug, the extraordinary would have diminishing effect with continued use.

So we overstate things. We use exceptional words for ordinary things. 

If someone’s hairdo looks "awesome," then what word do we use when we see something that really is awesome? I’m sorry, but hairdos are not really awesome.

What things really are amazing, epic, awesome, or incredible?

There are many. A sunset. A tsunami wave. A reception in football. The taste of your mother's lasagna. God.

The Bible refers to Him in superlatives. Consider: 

“Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.’”[1] He did. He knocked down the walls of Jericho with a shout. That’s amazing.

“Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”[2] He had parted the Red Sea… now that is awesome!

“And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.’”[3] Healings that are not possible by natural means? Now that is amazing.

The ATM bids me to have a day like one that has  'never been seen...' If it happens, it would be great! But  it would be hard to sustain. That's one thing that's cool about Jesus, He is always amazing. Even when it' not an amazing day.

When Paul was running out of words to describe who God is, he said, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”[4]

There are some words that are only fit for truly special things or for God.

Have an amazing day!







[1] Joshua 3:5 (NIV)
[2] Exodus 15:11 (NIV)
[3] Matthew 9:33 (NIV)
[4] Romans 11:33 (NIV)

Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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