Skip to main content

Word Roulette

Unsure of what to write about today, I opened my thesaurus at random and stuck my finger on the left hand side of the page, thinking it would be a good exercise for me to expound on whatever I happened to point out. And the word was...MODERATION. So here we go - some thoughts on moderation.

I detest most forms of moderation for they are the antithesis of passion. Moderate people are easy to live with and moderate opinions are easy to accept. There is a certain amount of safety in moderation for you will never come close to excess or abstinence. Lukewarm is another word we can talk about. Neither hot nor cold. Lukewarm water, lukewarm tea, lukewarm beer, lukewarm Coke...ugh!

I used to equate moderation and balance, but a friend set me straight on that inaccurate assumption. I like balance, for it means you can take two extreme items and ultilize them to maintain stability. If you were to mush the opposites together and place the mixture in the middle you would get nothing more than a brownish stew and added dead weight. But if you let the black be black and the white be white, the very position of these two extremes i.e. "waaaay out there" can be made to work in your favour.

Some examples here: Can you imagine telling an artist to practice moderation in his use of colour? But balance is a beautiful thing in a painting. A moderate dose of love in a marriage would be hardly satisfying, but balance can provide healthy outlets for passion as well as aid longevity of the relationship. On the political end of things, a left-wing or right-wing party in power will push a very one-sided agenda, but when the two parties hold seats in a fairly even balance, the country is usually better served. On the other hand, a whole house of moderate politicians wouldn't get anything done.

I am trying to think of any good examples of moderation:
Eating? moderation is no good unless there is balance - a moderate amount of 100% fat is still bad for you.
Drinking? hmmm. that one might actually work, using moderation would guarantee that you did not become drunk, but very little else.
Working? a moderate worker is one who has no ambition. Show me a farmer who works moderately during harvest time. But throughout all the seasons on a farm...there is balance.

And now just a few words about passion because otherwise this whole thing is just way too negative.

Passion. Excitement. Surrender. Jumping. Dancing. Giving. Sacrifice. Crying. Loving. Running. Gazing. Touching. Laughing. Growing. Thinking. Hearing. Enjoying. Tasting. Moving. Embracing. Meeting. Grasping. Wanting. Dreaming. Looking. Being. Living. Breathing. Yes.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---
Moooooooo!!

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …