Written by Matt Fitzgerald
A menu dropped down when I registered my 11 year old daughter for basketball camp. "Tell us why you chose this camp." It offered several options. "The quality of instruction ... A friend is attending ... Our values as a Christian college."
We chose the camp because it was halfway between our house and her grandmother's. That wasn't on the menu. Frankly, the bit about "Christian values" rattled me. I hope my values are Christian, but when I hear someone else use the phase all I hear is, "homophobic bigot."
So I worried when I dropped her off. But she loved the camp. And she didn't hear a bigoted word. I asked. Instead she learned how to box out, post-up, even pull-up on a jump shot. "Oh. And I learned not to say 'Oh my God.' You should never say that, Dad. The girls at camp take God seriously."
I thought "OMG, it would take a miracle to get you to stop saying that." But she quit cold turkey. Ten weeks later I'm the only one in our house still breaking the third commandment.
For years I thought this commandment was about God. And it seemed ridiculous. I have a hard time believing the One who hung the stars in the midnight sky give's a rat's ass about my vocabulary.
But now I wonder if the proscription exists for us, not God. Because the fact is every single time I say "God damn it" I might as well say, "I don't take God seriously." If I did, I'd save Her name for prayers of thanksgiving and real problems, not stepping barefoot on a Lego.
Dear God, keep me from speaking your name, unless I mean it. Amen.