Thursday, January 7, 2010


Words. I've always been fascinated by words; their origins, how they came to be part of our vocabulary, their life span, synonyms (same or similar meanings), homonyms (sounds like another word but has a different meaning, antonyms (opposite meaning), heteronyms (share the same spelling but have different meanings), capitonyms (two words, same spelling, but one capitalized changes its meaning as in March, and march), neologisms (new words...even made up words). So much for words
"Definition" and "meaning." This post is centered on the meaning of "definition." That's not an editorial slight-of-hand, it's a question posing as a statement. More clearly; How does one define themselves? Is it done by our possessions or our purpose? In my view--one that sees these as the last days of earth's history--anyone claiming the name of Christ should be earnestly laboring and witnessing for Him and should be defined by those labors.
There was a time when I chose to be defined by my boat; a thirty foot trawler. And even though she was documented "Third Angel," clearly I was more interested in being admired for the boat than for any alleged witness for the third angel's message (Revelation 14: 6 and onward).
Some are defined by a collection; it doesn't matter what they collect, they are recognized as a collector of ______________(fill in the blank). Some collections have intrinsic value; others are valuable only to the collector (like the family friend who collected beer bottle openers).
Stuff. That's another thing altogether. Almost all of us have too much stuff, very little of which could be called a collection. Stuff is ubiquitous. It is everywhere. In the garage, in boxes, in the attic, under the bed in containers designed to hold stuff. It's on the shelves in all the closets. Some of us even rent storage space for our stuff where, if it ever had any value, deteriorates and diminshes with every payment to the stuff-storage-place.
Ellen White had words of encouragement for those who would be privileged to live in these days: "My dear brethren and sisters, I speak to you in words of love and tenderness. Arouse and consecrate yourselves unreservedly to the work of giving the light of truth for this time to those in darkness. Catch the spirit of the great Master Worker. Learn from the Friend of sinners how to minister to sin-sick souls. Remember that in the lives of His followers must be seen the same devotion, the same subjection to God's work, of every social claim, every earthly affection, that was seen in His life. God's claims must always be paramount. Christ's example is to inspire us to put forth unceasing effort for the good of others." [8T pg 47. 2-.5]
What is your definition; your stuff or your purpose?
God Bless. e.c.

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