Welcome to the Monday Mailing #20 –
Words, Words, Words
I have often marveled at our language. . .especially how things translate. Not far from where I grew up there was a very glamorous Motor Lodge, nestled in a grove of live oak trees, which was named Los Robles. It wasn’t until I took high school Spanish that I realized that was what Los Robles meant. . .the Oaks. My father would talk about the Hoi Polloi, which I never asked him to define, but discovered for myself in taking Greek in Seminary. I also realized that so many words in our English language are rooted in some other language. Cardia (spelled with a K in Greek) is the word for heart. I also wondered for many years why you could be disgruntled, but I never heard of anyone being gruntled.
So, someone posted a Meme this last week about words which are no longer used. I disagreed with a portion of the list, as I use some of those great descriptive words in my regular conversations. But I was intrigued by one word on the list: discombobulated – to be confused and disconcerted, possibly in a humorous way. I’ve felt fairly discombobulated these last 4 ½ months. Confused? Certainly. Which way is up? Just which day of the week (which all end in day!) is it? Where is the thing I most need? (Answer: here – is either being laid on, ralphed on or played with by a cat, or still at the church.)
On a whim, I decided to look up the root of the word, and I am so glad that I did.
The first definition of combobulate is the one which caught my eye, and my spirit. To put together in a somewhat mysterious manner. And that is the life of faith.
We are put together, one with another in a somewhat (or very) mysterious manner and we make our lives work. I am put together with you (I did not even know where Guilderland was located) in the great mystery of faith, just as you are put together with me. You elected, by the voice of God through the congregation, a team – the PNC (pastor nominating committee) to find the next person who will, by God’s grace and mystery, be put together with this congregation. Even in the midst of the Pandemic, mysterious and beautiful things are happening in and among us.
While my life, and possibly your life, too – may feel discombobulated, the mysterious workings of God’s Holy Spirit are alive and at work in us in a most mysterious manner. Our remembering that God’s Spirit can and does move within and among us in the most unusual of ways, means that we are putting back together, putting back to our minds (remembering) that which truly is life changing and life sustaining for the People of Faith. May God continue to combobulate us. . .Always!!
Peace, and love to you all —