Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Power of Words

Nothing in 21st century American usage sums up the apathy and lack of enthusiasm of so many as the one-word response, “Whatever.” It has become an all-purpose response that takes the place of “I don’t know” and/or “I don’t care” or “Don’t bother me” and “It just doesn’t matter.” You can’t walk down the school hallway at change of classes without hearing it used.

You can’t walk in or out of the door of our upstate retreat house, Founder’s Hollow, without being reminded of a very different and much more positive use of the word whatever. Among the ponds and rock gardens in the front of the house is a stature of Mary with stone jars and the words spoken at the Wedding Feast of Cana. “Do whatever he tells you.”

As Jesus’ first and model disciple, Mary’s statement to the waiters at Cana is also addressed to us. Her instruction calls for enthusiasm and openness to new things. Are we listening for Jesus’ plan for our lives? Are we eager to do His will? Whatever it is?