Whatever

 

Whatever- If you are a parent I know you’ve heard it or maybe you’ve even mumbled it to your spouse…
 
most of the time it’s used to end an argument
it’s only a single word
and when it’s spoken it is barely audible…
actually it more of a mutter,
just a quiet, defiant mutter…
I’m referring to the word
“whatever.”

 

Here’s the link if you prefer to listen online.

Or you can use your favorite podcasting app.

As I was saying…I’ll continue with what I was saying now.

It depends on how you use it.

But I’m not referring to the way the word was intended to be used…
not the expansive, no restrictions at all meaning
I’m sure you’ve used the word “whatever” to mean
anything
no matter what
any and all
 

?!

This meaning is spoken with a question mark and an exclamation mark.
 
The question mark asks, “What is that I need to do?”
 
And  the exclamation is a firm yes, whatever I need to do, I’m going to do it because I am desperate for results!
 
The word “whatever” is used differently these days…it’s almost the total opposite of what it originally meant.
 

A different attitude changes the word

If  “whatever” is spoken with an attitude and a period at the end the word has a totally different meaning.
 
The intended meaning is very clear
I quit. I’m through arguing.
Why bother?
It’s not worth arguing about.
Whatever.
 
 

George Walker

was a coal miner with gold sized dreams. In Africa, he was hired to help build a cottage for a widow lady named  Petronelia Oosthuizen. (There is no way that I am going to try to pronounce that for you!) But he was a prospector. He convinced the widow lady’s family to grant him a license to prospect on the property. He literally stumbled over a gold-bearing rock. When it was examined, they found high gold content, so George staked a claim.
 

Filed a legal claim to mine for gold.

On his claim he declared that he found a significant claim. But for some reason, for  whatever reason, George sold his claim for 10 pounds. Pounds are like dollars in America. Now I realize 10 pounds had a lot more buying power way back in 1886 than it does now. Yet 10 pounds didn’t make him a rich man in anybody’s opinion. I read in one place that it was comparable to a hundred or hundred and fifty dollars.
 

His actions said something different.

He declared that he had found gold, but George’s actions said,
I quit.
It’s not worth it.
I’m outta here!
 

Too bad, George!

That claim turned out to be the richest goldfield ever discovered and he became know as the million dollar loser, maybe a more accurate name for him would be the billion dollar loser.
 

Why?

Because we value money, we understand what he lost. We want to look him square in the eyes  and ask him, “What were you thinking?” Any excuse would leave me with the same answer…whatever!” No excuse would warrant walking away from a claim that big!
 

It’s important that we understand that George isn’t the biggest loser!

Mark 8:36 KJV gives us a picture of the biggest loser.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

The answer is obvious…

Absolutely nothing!

 

Eternity is a long time.

 
On our way to minister in a “Family Experience” in Alabama we stopped at Tuskegee to see George Washington Carver’s museum. If you’ve listened to my “Think God’s Way for a Change” series you know he is one of my heroes.
 
Tuskegee is a gorgeous university.  The museum, run by the National Park Service, is a simple, yet profound tribute to the life of a man who walked with God. 
 

Mr. Carver was a man that saw great needs.

He wanted to help “his people” put more in their dinner pail. The soil was ravaged from the ferocious appetite of cotton and its repeated planting by the land owners. Agriculture in the South was in trouble. Mr. Carver got up at 4 a.m., yes, that’s 4:00 in the morning. He started his day by reading his Bible, then simply walked and talked with God the rest of the day. As he walked with God, he asked God questions, put feet to those times with God in the laboratory researching and developing; but also in the fields planting, growing and observing.  
 
The nonchalant “whatever” of consumers and growers gradually turned into passionate listeners, passionate believers; that did whatever Mr. Carver told them and it worked.
 
God used a man, a man of faith and diligence, to revolutionize agriculture in the South.
 

God wants to be a part of your everyday life.

Mr. Carver lived the reality that God wants to be a part of every area of our lives. He was a brilliant Scientist, thinker, and problem solver because He accessed wisdom beyond his own; he listened to the Great Creator and He (God) shared His secrets with Mr. Carver.
 
 

Nonchalant?

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to become nonchalant about spiritual things?
 
We can become totally overwhelmed with busy lives and heavy responsibilities.
 
And in that process we leave God out of our lives
our decisions,
jobs,
families,
 and finances.
 

It is so easy to moan “whatever”;

instead of crying from the depths of our hearts, whatever it takes! I put you first. I want more of you. I’m hungry for your presence, desperate to see souls saved and desperate to see your kingdom come in my family and your church!
 

Whatever…

Complains I’m too busy.

Questions could it possibly be that important?

States: Once a week is enough for me!

 

Whatever with a question mark and an exclamation mark

 
Cries out…
Hungers…
Thirsts…
Obeys…
Listens…
 
That kind of “whatever” receives and
pours out
and receives some more.

 

Whatever. or Whatever?!

Which ever “whatever” you use is derived from an attitude rooted in your values.
 
What do you value?
 
What do your choices reflect about your values?
 

Deuteronomy 10:12 ESV

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

 

Does this verse make your mind groan…

whatever (with a period).
 

Or does it

stir your heart
propel you to
activate your faith,
fear Him–honor, respect and reverence Him as Holy and true,
obey and walk in His ways,
love stronger,
and serve diligently…
 
from your heart,
that deep, sincere place of love for God
and from your soul…
your mind,
will
and being.
 

Maybe you’re asking,

“But how do I get there?

How do I do that?

I want to love Him more. I want to obey Him and serve Him with the diligence He requires, but I’m just not there.
 

You change what you value.

 
I know, I know! That answer only circles us back to the original question, “How do I do that?”
 
You change what you believe by changing your thoughts, your focus, your actions.
 

Choose…

to make Him a priority and the feelings will follow.
 

Repent.

Acknowledge that your priorities have been out of wack.Turn away from a time waster.
 
Tear down an idol and build an altar.
 

We schedule priorities.

Schedule a time and a place with God.
Seize opportunities.
 

What you really value is proven by what you pursue.

 

You will never have what you are unwilling to pursue.