Wednesday’s Word of the Day: Synonymous

31 12 2011

As promised this post…was the most commented on of 2011. This led to me writing my testimony! …please leave your comments below.

Today’s word is synonymous. The word has two definitions; one means having the character of a synonym.   The other means to be closely  associated with or suggestive of something.  When I was a child, my mother bought me a t-shirt that said, “Here Comes Trouble.”  The implication of the t-shirt was that I was synonymous with trouble, and the truth was (sometimes is) that I did bring alot of trouble with me wherever I went.  Usually, the trouble was the result of my insatiable curiousity or my unstoppable mouth.  A reality that I relive on a daily basis with some of my students.

The origins of the word date back to the Greek and Latin. Syn- comes from the Greek syn- meaning the same or together, onym- from onyma- meaning name, and ous from the Latin –osus meaning having to do with.  Thus, the word literally means having the same name.  My mom literally named me trouble as a child with a cute t-shirt that she thought was funny and somewhat true.  I became identified in my life as trouble, and eventually, the shirt become a symbol for what I was: T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  I felt like trouble to the people I met.  I felt unworthy for anyone to do anything nice for me.  I felt like bother to friends, bosses, co-workers.

Today, I am synonymous with something much greater than trouble, redemption.  Unfortunately, I took a meandering road from trouble to redemption.  I tried on different labels just like one might try on different t-shirts.  In high school, I tried on religious zealot.  The fit was uncomfortable, because people don’t like judgmental jerks.  Toward the end of high school and throughout my Air Force career, I tried on party animal.  Again, the fit wasn’t quite right, when sober I was flirtatious, but drunk I was a “hound dog” to quote Elvis.  After my time in the Air Force, I tried on religious dogma, this time it fit, but it was too rigid for my natural curiousity.  Oddly, however, the idea of God-in-a-box theology was quite comforting.

God-in-a-box.  He was safe.  He wouldn’t mess with my life, upset my priorities, or expect me to change for Him.  If He ever did, I just changed the theologic box.  It wasn’t until I got to my eighth year of marriage, that I tried on the t-shirt of surrender.  That shirt was scary, it was an unknown item with an unknown quality in an unknown quantity.  Sort of like a grab bag of random cards from a baseball card show, or a christmas gift from the grandma that gives you “practical gifts” like clothes when you are seven.  The questions abound, “is it safe” “will I like it?” “Does it come with a gift receipt?”

Surrender is the best.  It fit the best.  It was difficult to get on, like a shirt that is a half-size too small.  Once you are in it, there is such a peace while on the path.  Worries about the past or the future, can be handled by the grace of the moment.  No past concern or worry is capable of destroying the ever present peace of surrender.

Surrender means that I have let go of my right to anyting other than Jesus Christ. I can no longer be embarrassed by some of those things with which I once was synonymous.  It means that I cannot know the future with any certainty and be at peace because He said He would provide for those who follow His call.

Surrender means that I am His, nothing can harm me that He doesn’t give me the strength to endure.  What are you synonymous with right now?  What from your past are you trying to escape?  Who do you want to be?  Where do you want to go?  These answers are found in the letting go of your preconceived notions about God or yourself.  It is found in accepting His way because His burden is light, and his yoke is easy.

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One response

31 12 2011
Jim Hedderly

The toughest thing in life we can do is to surrender our rights to ourselves …and hand them to the Lord Jesus without reservation.

I have just read the book the “The Hidding place” by Corry TenBoom and I’m humbled by her sister’s trust in God. If that kind of darkness is in my future I pray that my surrender to God would be that noble…..that complete….that God honoring.

Happy New Year kids

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