Put that on an inspirational poster
Pet Peeves are the theme this week.
I’ve got a list a mile long of things that bug me. One, however, has really gotten under my skin lately.
It’s impossible to walk into a decorating store or craft display at the local festival and not be bombarded with a thousand motivational sayings. Facebook is even worse. I can’t figure out what my friends are up to because of all the advice dished out in eight-word poems. Unwrap a piece of chocolate and it tries to tell you how to live life. I bought some cough drops this winter and they promised, “a pep talk in every drop.” Sure enough, each little wrapper was stamped with motivational thoughts. There’s only one thing I ask from a cough drop and it’s not advice.
I confess to have fallen under the influence. Here are sayings displayed on plaques in my home:
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.
Saddle up and follow your dreams.
Life is good.
A face without freckles is like a sky without stars.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, think on these things.
Friends are the family you choose.
As Christians, we are some of the worst offenders. The gaudiest picture, with a few words of scripture penciled on it, suddenly becomes sanctified.
Why does this trend bother me?
- Life is too rich and complex to always be summed up in a cute saying. There are situations where simple wisdom does apply, but much of the time, there are no easy answers and it’s a mistake to always insist on one.
- It dulls me to the Bible. The living word of God starts to sound trite when it is stamped on every mug and coaster I own. Is it possible to have too much scripture? Maybe? I know it’s a pitfall for me to emphasize only certain verses and ignore others or to try to apply a verse to a situation where it doesn’t fit.
I probably need a plaque in my living room with this verse from James: “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” I haven’t found that one at the store yet, but I also haven’t really looked.
Have I turned into a curmudgeon or is anyone else tired of all the motivation?
Or maybe I just have a case of the Mondays.