Because life is a series of edits

Introducing the Newest Poster Family for the YMCA

In Places & Spaces, Seminary on August 11, 2006 at 2:00 am

A couple days ago, Megan sent me this link with the subject header, "You're going to love this!"

Don't get me wrong: we've enjoyed our time at our local YMCA. And, as we do receive a scholarship in order to belong, we were glad to lend our name (as well as our daughters' picture, though the photographer didn't take a very good shot) to their fundraising efforts.

However, we need to clarify that a statement like "They found their way to the Edward Jones Family YMCA and their lives haven’t been the same," or the quote attributed to Megan that "It (the YMCA) has had a tremendous impact on our daily lives” is more hyperbolic than true.

We like the Y, but our lives aren't that different because of it. I also wouldn't say the impact on our daily lives has been all that "tremendous" (truthfully – unfortunately – it's not even been all that "daily" for most of the summer).

Also, we're not at St. Louis Theological Seminary, but Covenant Theological Seminary. (For a chuckle, visit the two sites and check out the distinct emphases, theological and otherwise.)

It's interesting how sloppy endorsements can get sometimes. It's also intriguing how very quickly our culture applies descriptions of "life change" and "impact" to things that really aren't able to live up to either moniker (insert your own examples here).

Before I seem too judgmental, let me say that I have done the same thing – with experiences, books, or even baseball – and that's to my shame. Truly, the only real "life change" and "impact" is the Gospel, "for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16).

So, if you came across our YMCA endorsement (which you probably didn't until now), we hope you took it with a grain of salt. And forgive me for any past or future indiscretions that ascribe more "life change" and "impact" to things which may not have the capacity to be either as well.

  1. hey there, i appreciated the post. you made me chuckle as usual. however, i had a question about one of your statements. you stated that, “Truly, the only real “life change” and “impact” is the Gospel.” it seems to me that unless you were being hyperbolic again this statement is a bit simplistic. i can honestly say that getting married was “life changing” and that my time at covenant has had a major impact on my life.
    maybe i’m reading too much into your comment. if so i apologize. it just seems that in reacting to the manner in which institutions triviliaze true life impacting and changing things (which is true) you have gone too far in the other direction.

  2. Guilty as charged, Travis. Guilty as charged. Thanks for not letting me get away with a simple knee-jerk response and swing to the opposite extreme.
    If you read the last paragraph of my post, I’ve already repented and asked forgiveness for this (sort of), but I do it again here just for good measure.

  3. Craig,
    You make a good point in your post. In fact, it has made such an impact on me, I think it has literally changed my life.

  4. Continuing the theme of the discussion of life change and hilarity, I overheard the following quote on a 43 folders podcast from January with regard to life change and New Year’s resolutions:
    “If you can pull off a major life change based on having a couple of drinks and wearing a hat, then I think that’s something that you should probably do.”

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