Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Word of the Day - Preeminent

Courtesy of Merriam Webster Online.

The Word of the Day for June 17, 2009 is:
preeminent • \pre-EM-uh-nunt\ • adjective

: having paramount rank, dignity, or importance : outstanding, supreme

Example Sentence:
Carrie considered herself lucky to have one of the country’s preeminent novelists as her writing professor.

Did you know?
What is noteworthy about the following sentence? "Mount McKinley is a prominent eminence in the Alaskan landscape." You very likely recognized two words that are closely related to "preeminent" -- "prominent" and "eminence." All three words are rooted in the Latin verb stem "-minēre," meaning "to stand out." But did you note as well the related word "mount"? Not too surprisingly, "-minēre" is related to "mons," the Latin word for "mountain." That relationship leads us in turn to "paramount," a word closely related in meaning to "preeminent."

I haven't the time or the energy at the moment to try to delve into something new, so I'm just going to go ahead and bring back an old topic; I'll be approaching it a different way, but I think it's about time I resolve this for myself.

Several months ago, I wrote this post in response to an unrest I was feeling, an obligation to stay informed of what I had attempted to involve myself in, and then a subsequent confusion based on what I had read.

The first section of quotations, starting with Tozer and ending with Jeremy Meyers, are all related. Going back and re-reading that post has changed my perception a bit. I still agree with who I agreed with before, but I find the section by Jim Henderson rather condescending to Brian, who I believe shared the thought by Tozer. Jeremy's response in my opinion was very gracious. Agreeing with Jim, thanking him for the insights, but not attacking Brian in the process. Again, I agree with Jim, it's just seems to me that he may have written that a little too hastily and too emotionally. I don't know how God used what he said, I obviously wasn't bothered by his tone the first time I read it so maybe Brian wasn't offended either. (Though the reason I wasn't bothered probably has something to do with the fact that I was also upset with Brian for whatever it was he wrote to Jeremy that also got Jim upset.)

Strangely enough, the next quotation, by Tim Nichols ties in rather nicely with this. It's a different subject matter being addressed, but perhaps Tim's insights could lead us to understanding of the previous issue. Tim's exact quotation states "Because if we want to avoid similar decades-long battles in other areas — like, say, over the exact content that one must believe to be saved — then it is helpful to see what our brothers have done wrong (and what they have done right) in past conflicts." I was thinking about the conundrum of passing blame. What about when other people pass blame? Do we then get all puffed up and blame them for being blamers? At the same time, it is important to distinguish between truth and falsity; that's one thing I know the Word makes very clear. What Tim said I believe gives another possibility. Don't beat yourself up for being emotionally affected by a differing opinion from another person, but still change the way you respond to it. Don't treat them in kind, if their actions are what bother you, acknowledge to yourself what you think, what you see, and approach it as a learning situation. Then it becomes less personal, and you tempt yourself less to treating the brother or sister with anything less than love.

As for the other two quotations I copied, I honestly don't remember what I thought about them before. I know why I included them, they made me think - and they still do - but I don't remember what it was I was wanting to say about them so I'm not going to bother with it now.

Looking back at this post is something I feel I can really learn from. I mentioned that the post was a result of my attempting to stay involved with something I felt obligated to participate in. I do remember very clearly though that this attempt brought me only confusion and unrest, not joy or growth. At the beginning of my blog journey, I needed to get involved in some of the more difficult discussions going on between individuals in my former spiritual environment and those they disagreed with. It was still something that greatly affected my thoughts and my day to day life, so I didn't feel at peace not getting involved, or at least being informed. I don't regret that. What I do regret is then not being able to move on when I needed to. These issues between these parties have caused much discord among the brethren and are to be taken seriously, I'm not going to avoid or ignore them now; but I'm no longer going to let them take the preeminent role in my spiritual thoughts and conversations with others. There are other things God has called me for, other things He wants me to concentrate on. I left the church I grew up in because I could no longer attend there and continue to grow; I was being spiritually stilted and it was hurting an otherwise growing relationship with my Heavenly Father. I need to remember that, and apply that truth with everything in my life once and if it starts negatively affecting my relationship with Him.

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