Wednesday, February 5, 2014

deconstructing and exegeting: part two of two


How do you know the true meaning of a book?  If someone told you they read the first chapter and proceeded to give you its value, would you believe them? It is of little use to pull a sentence from a hat and say the piece of literature I have here means the whole work is debunked.  Our society tends to take sentences out of context, whether it is tabloids, the news or the latest Gallup poll released.  It is within the same realm of stereotypes and prejudices.  What is meant by this is that we have the tendency to find the quickest answer, the easiest explanation or the most efficient way to catalog information in our brain.  Stereotypes or not always inaccurate, it is when they bleed into our actions that a prejudice results.  It is the same with taking something from literature out of context.  The true meaning is missed and an opportunity lost.  That small fragment might be useful for simple compartmentalizing in one's thoughts; but there is so much more to be gleaned when the fragment is restored with the whole.  Exegesis is the process theologians and biblical scholars use to put phrases and beliefs back into their original state.  Traditionally, tradition trumps truth but proper exegesis of scripture reveals the original truth that preceded tradition.  Not taking scripture out of context is the key, with proper exegesis and study, the authors meaning can be seen.

It is with this notion that I hope to exegete my own path; to put things into context and find God's original intent with my life.  I have allowed people and things to dictate my purpose but when I exegete my story I'm allowing the Author of my life to speak for himself.  It is not I who has written my story thus far, something higher than me that has both written from afar and brought it to life very close.  This paradox of both distant and close is something most people miss when reflecting on God; and it is something I hope to continue to explain.  Exegeting my life is an important step of finding the spiritual meaning of past hurts, pains and pleasures.  It is a term I am using to remind me to always put things into context first. A term that signifies when something spiritual has occurred and there exists a truth that needs to be uncovered.

Old City of Jerusalem 2008
© Image by Matthew J Diaz

The Grossest Game Ever:

During my twelve years in youth ministry, I came across a lot of games, as you can imagine.  It was my own goal to never play a game that forced me to eat something that would make me gag.  You would think the grossest game ever would come from some concoction of blended food. However, it is not the case.  The game I want to describe will probably give you some kind of disease and I am shocked that we ever attempted to play this game.  The youth pastor who decided to play this games didn't want to subject "minors" to it so we picked a couple of adult leaders. I fortunately was not one of them.

Items needed:
  • As many pennies as players
How you play:
  • Make a starting line and a finish line on a cement surface
  • the longer the more terrible
  • place the penny on the ground
  • each player must move the penny, with their tongue, to the finish line 
  • The penny must stay on the ground
I'm almost certain the leaders that played contracted Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV).  I'm surprised it wasn't worse.  I do not recommend anyone playing this game, I simply share it to admit to the world what some youth pastors will put their leaders through.  Everyone thinks it is the youth pastor who should get all the accolades when in fact it is the volunteer leaders who put up with the most.  Thank you volunteers!

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