Thursday, July 30, 2015
Put the Accent in the Right Place
I was thinking about how in speech as well as in life emphasis and accent can make a lot of difference. For example, several years ago even before I started working for Edgecombe County, I came across this little town there named Conetoe. Now, my pronunciation based on my first glance of the name was wrong as it is for most people. For a while I went around calling it CONE-toe; like it's spelled. As weird as I thought that name was, I figured I was at least pronouncing it correctly; that is until I met someone from CONE-toe. They told me that it's not CONE-toe...it's pronounced Ca-NEE-ta. I was like..."What? Ca-NEE-ta? That's not how it's spelled!". Their reply was, "Yeah, but that's how it's pronounced..Ca-NEE-ta!". So ever since then, when I hear someone say CONE-toe, I jump in like I am some expert and say "Oh, no no it's Ca-NEE-ta". And they look at me like I'm crazy as I'm sure I did with the person who corrected me.
Not only have I mispronounced words by putting the accent in the wrong place, I have also misinterpreted scripture by making the same mistake. For example, when I first read 1 John 5:14-15, I think I got a few goosebumps that were probably unnecessary. What I read was, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that IF WE ASK ANYTHING according to his will, HE HEARS US. And if we know that he hears us—WHATEVER WE ASK—we know that WE HAVE what we asked of him".
For years I went around thinking the wrong thing, because I had put the accent on the wrong words. I went around thinking that if I am Your child, all I had to do is ask for whatever I wanted, and I was sure to get it. But after many years of not getting everything that I wanted, and now being mature enough to see that is a good thing, I realize that I should have placed the accent on different words. Now when I read that passage I see "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."
Now it makes better sense to me. With God being the good Father that He is, He would never give me something bad, no matter how badly I wanted it. He would never answer a prayer that's not in my best interest no matter how many times I prayed for it. And no amount of wishing or hoping or praying could ever change His will for my life. I see now that my prayers are meant to elevate my will up to God's, not drag His down to mine. I can see that now since He has shown me where the accents go in that verse.
So, when I hear someone else read or repeat that verse, and I see they have the accents in the wrong place, I pray I can show them how God really meant it. But I will try to show them in love, and much more politely than perhaps how I corrected some on how to say Ca-NEE-ta.