Wednesday, February 07, 2007

So Vain...

What are my Lenten disciplines this year? Fasting? Praying more? Assigned reading?

Actually, one is pretty mundane. Childish, even, maybe.

I need to clean up the profanity, the taking of the Lord's name in vain, that regularly spews from my potty mouth.

This morning, for instance. I was in a hurry, running late, trying to clean up the passenger side of my vehicle before I took it to the tire guy. I tend to sort through my mail in my car, which means I collect piles of cable-company fliers, solictations from countless charities, catalogs and other postal dreck. Anyway, I was trying to scoop the detritus out of the car, and it kept falling out of my hands onto the garage floor, and soon I found myself cursing the junk mail.

That's the usual m.o. -- cursing inanimate objects when they don't do what I want or expect them to. I regularly call God's wrath down on my molasses-slow computer, for instance, and my frustratingly primitive dialup connection. If God took this seriously my laptop would have been reduced to a flattened, blackened puddle of plastic and circuitry long ago.

And that's the stupid thing about petty profanity. Do I really want God to damn my slow computer, my dropped junk mail sopping up muddy slush on the garage floor, the dog bone I just stubbed my toe on? What does that even mean? And why does it flow so quickly and easily from my lips?

I don't like it. I don't want to do it anymore.

7 comments:

Mata H said...

WooooHoooo, can I relate! I recently started substituting the word "Bless" for the word "Damn" and can now be heard loudly saying "God BLESS it!!!!" to things like my lost shoe, a spilled cup of coffee, etc.

--Mata

toujoursdan said...

In my quest to learn a second language I have realized how silly swearing really is. In English the worst thing we can tell someone is to go do something pleasurable, and in Quebecois French they use the names of objects on the altar at church.

But I think the point of getting frustrated and angry at inanimate objects is a very good one. I am also someone who does that and am trying not to. Why should I expect inanimate objects to conform to my will?

Mother Laura said...

Thank you Lutheran Chik for coming out on this and Mata H for the inspired suggestion of blessing things instead of damning them...this is a real problem for me esp. as my son gets older and more likely to pick it up.

Big Ass Belle said...

even when i spoke solely in my native tongue (profanity) rather than only periodically, I couldn't ever express that one.

i can say anything (and i mean anything) else without a thought, but i always figured i was such a bad girl, He'd strike me down ;-)

lutherans. blogging. i'm stunned.

Verdugo said...

I, too, am prone to cursing the inanimate. I can accept imperfection and failings in my fellow carbon-based lifeforms, but really can't accept when my computer/ DVD player/ car/ cell phone/ whatever doesn't do what it's supposed to!!!

On a different note, in a recent sermon on "taking the Lord's name in vain" the preacher emphasized one way we do this is when we presumptuously claim divine authority ("God told me...") for things that are merely our own opinion/ interpretation. On a happy note, LC, I think this is one form of "cursing" you're blessedly free from. Sadly, many of my evangelical brethren are not.

evelyn said...

amen verdugo!

Anonymous said...

I give up swearing every Lent and fine myself every time I slip (usually at the office). Around about Eastertime, I've got a coffeecup of change to go into the poor box.