Whattttt..eva!  If you've raised a teenager, you've heard that word with a certain unmistakable tone and even possibly an accompanying roll of the eyes!  I can assure you as the parents of three former teenage daughters and one current teenage son, we experienced the word and the identified action once or twice...

The Number 10 definition listed on the site matches my thinking:

(used to indicate indifference to a state of affairs, situation, previous statement)

Used in that way, the word, "whatever", is used most often in a negative, somewhat apathetic, context.  I was reminded  this morning in worship of Paul's words to us about this very word.  It's from Colossians 3:17,
"And whatever you do ,whether in word or deed, 
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
 giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Our dear friend, Andy, was preaching, and his words that followed challenged us to think about the "what" we do... including what we say, how we say it, and our actions.  "If we are doing or saying things that we can't give thanks for, then we shouldn't be saying or doing those things."  You might need to read those words a second time like I did!

Some of you have heard me share the story of Katie's friend from the summer they joined with Campus Outreach ministry.  Each college student was required to have a job in the area while deepening their own faith through Bible study, personal devotion time and intentional evangelism opportunities.  Many of the students found jobs life guarding, working in the snack bar at the local Water Park, bell hopping at several of the local hotels, etc.  This particular friend had applied at all these places, but much to her dismay, the only job offer that she received was from McDonald's.  She really didn't want to work inside, flip burgers and drop fries in the fryer at the beach!  Without another option, she accepted the position and went to work.  She laughingly reported later something to the effect of, "While I was 'slaving' over the grill, I would silently breathe... I deserve hell, I can gladly flip burgers."  I'm not thinking she was exactly quoting Colossians 3:17, but I believe she had the idea.

I remember a young mom literally being consumed and completely overwhelmed by one challenging 2 1/2 year-old who understood and had complete control, but simply refused to potty on the potty.  This little momma's words and deeds became anything but "thankful" - words like frustrated, exasperated, defeated... surrounded her.  Thankfully, her wise mother reminded her that her life goal for this precious daughter was NOT potty training, and she promised her that Katie would not enroll in Kindergarten in a diaper.  Thanks, Mom - I could have never survived without you!!!  :)   I sure needed a change in my perspective.

Like me, I assume you have found yourself at similiar moments in life... consumed by the task - an overwhelming job, a stage of parenting that was exhausting, a season of discontent, an unexpected challenge, an unwanted change... whatever the circumstance, our response is still to be determined.  This verse gives us a clear directive... the circumstance... the thing... doesn't matter, but our response is  directed... do "it" well with thanks, in the name of Jesus... now, THAT is a perspective we all need!

So... say it with me... WHATEVER!  Yes, Lord!

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