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« Where Are You Wearing Your Heart? | Main | A Bible Answer to the Winter Blues »

Conspiracy in the Grammar Class

grammar.jpg Sifting through the cold evidence of a crime committed twenty years ago wasn’t easy. Yet, when all the pieces came together, I knew I was on to something. I had been victimized by an insensitive system of grammar instructors. Now, as I look back at the outrage, I weep over the many years of emptiness, confusion and heartache that these cruel masters of the English language cause for me.

The heinous crime I am talking about involves nouns and verbs. As every poor, warped pawn of the system knows, a noun is a person, place or thing. A verb is not a person, place or thing. It is an action done by, for, with, through, over, under (and so on) a person place or thing. Pity, pity the dumb cluck of a student who should ever get these confused. When it comes to adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and other parts of speech, a little confusion was expected. But, never, never mix a noun with a verb.

Even when I was released from the confining chambers of my brainwashers, the ruts they had worn deeply into my mind could not be easily shaken. Gradually, however, after years of struggling with the whole business, I overcame my paranoia. I realized that these teachers were not gods. I felt a new confidence building in my mind. I dared to take another look at these so-called sacred tenets of the grammarian’s faith. I paused long at these nouns and verbs, scrutinizing, studying, and prying into them until I stumbled onto a plot to hide the real truth from me and millions of others. Only relentless research has uncovered this truth.

The truth is simply this: you and I are not nouns! We are rightfully, by the design of our Creator, unequivocally verbs in the most marvelous, active and fullest sense of the word! A noun may be a place or thing, this much I will concede. But a person? Never! I cannot think of a more degrading and insulting concept than to consider a person as a mere noun.

As long as I thought of myself as a noun, I was on par with some dumb statue, or even a fencepost. Things happen to nouns. As a noun, I could be victimized by some outside force. I was helplessly caught up in the huge washing machine of life where great paddles battered me around, plunging me at will beneath the waves, flattening me against the wall on the spin cycles, and leaving me limp and wilted. What could I do? I was just a noun.

Now that I know that I am a verb instead of a noun, my self-respect has soared a thousand percent! I now understand that things don’t just happen to me. I happen to things! Whenever I walk into a room, there is a noticeable impact on other people. They feel my spirit, my personality and my attitude. I bring something to their lives.

I am the verb that acts on people, places and things. I don’t just sit helplessly by and wait for something to happen. I become the happening. I become the event. In don’t find success in my job, I bring success to my job. I don’t find worship in my church; I bring worship to my church. I don’t try to get happiness out of my marriage; I bring happiness to my marriage. I don’t try to get my children to love and respect me, I bring love and respect to them.

John said, “God is love.” You say that love is a noun. I say you’re crazy. You show me a neat little package of love that can be defined, boxed and shelved, and I’ll show you something that has lost its definition. God’s love is a verb. It acts. It moves. It grows, fills, touches, heals, lifts, saves and delivers. “If the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?”

Jesus likened the Holy Ghost to the wind. “The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof but canst not tell whither it cometh nor wither it goeth. So is everyone that is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8. He was not talking about the wind in the sense of a noun, but a verb. The Holy Ghost was to be an event, a happening that would affect a profound change in the life of the believer.

Are you still a noun? Do you just sit around and wait for things to happen to you? Do you think good or bad grades in school are merely given to you by a teacher? Do you think your home atmosphere is just something controlled by Dad, or Mom, or brother or sister? Do you think powerful services in church are just up to the preacher or the choir director? If so, take your place beside all the other statues on the shelf or by all the other fence posts along the roadside.

But if you decide you are a verb, you have an unlimited future ahead of you. You will make things happen. If you look hard enough, you will find that God has put handles on all the circumstances of life. Verbs take hold of the handles. Verbs take charge of the situations. Verbs bring something to every relationship, every challenge. After all, life really is what you make it. Nouns may look good, but they are powerless to act. Verbs are where the action is!

Make the change. Transform yourself from a noun into a verb. Now, I doubt that you will pass your grammar test if you start calling nouns verbs, but once you escape the oppressive clutches of your tutors, you can be free to get it right. You can do it. The world is waiting.

(I wrote this piece many years ago. I just came across it and thought you might like to read it. JMJ)

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Reader Comments (2)

I gotthe biggest kick out this. The way you began talking about the ruts teachers get us into and then transitioning into a most profound thought path. I hope someday to be as interesting & engaging writer as you are.

Angela Roth

June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJ. Mark Jordan

Amazing! Great work, and so true! God is I AM, spirit is verb, is energy, is motion.

At the atomic level, even the nouns are in constant movement. There is no source of movement except spirit.

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Garcia

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