For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I'm A Lousy Redneck

(warning, semi-pointless rant to follow)

Please don't misunderstand this title.  I'm not using "redneck" as an insult, as in "you lousy redneck!"  I'm saying I'm lousy at being a redneck.  I know the definition of this term is subject to interpretation.  Some see it as a derogatory term for poor white southerners, especially the brutish kind.  For many, it's simply an identification of rural folk in general, and all the stuff that goes with it.  I'm thinking more along the lines of the latter.

Case in point.  My oldest son and I love hunting and fishing.  Love them.  But we stink at them both!  In the last several days, I've had a little time off and we've done both.  Traveled a ways to a "better" lake so we'd have better luck.  My son caught one large mouth bass.  That was our total haul.  For the last two days, we've been out turkey hunting.  Some of you may remember me lamenting this particular endeavor in years past. And again this year, so far, no luck. I mean none!  Barely heard anything, and only saw one hen both days.  I want to be a hunting and fishing kind of redneck.  But we really stink at this.  I'm a lousy redneck.

Rednecks, in the stereotype, have trucks, right?  Pickup trucks.  Well, I have one.  Kind of.  It's a little Chevy S-10.  Actually, it's a "super crew" which sounds really cool, but just means it has a back seat, which makes the bed of the truck really small, which means you can't use it for what pickups are supposed to be used for.  I'm a lousy redneck.

I do love NASCAR, as I've often discussed here as well.  But we did away with our satellite awhile back, so I haven't actually seen a race in quite awhile.  I must be a lousy redneck.

Even with the "negative" side of the stereotype, I fall short.  I mean, I actually use complete sentences and proper grammar and all. (It's a joke people!) I do have a "beer belly", but it comes from too much pizza, not too much drinking. Oh, and I really hate country music.  I'm a lousy redneck.

Actually, I did just recently finally get a John Deere tractor!  Well, it's a John Deere riding lawn mower, but hey.  On my budget, that's pretty good.  But still, I'm a lousy redneck.

So what's the point?  Well, for one thing, it's just a reminder that in life we often fall short of our goals (even if our goals are a little odd).  It's a reminder that we need to be thankful for who we are and what we are and what we have, not always wanting more, etc.  (I'll keep telling myself this on those failed hunting and fishing trips!)

When it comes to our life of faith, it reminds me that I will always fall short of who and what I want to be, but that's why grace is so important.  It's not about my efforts, but Christ's effort on my behalf.  It's not about my skills, or lack thereof, it's about His finished work on the cross.  Not that we don't strive for more, seek greater sanctification, etc.  But in the end, we rest in grace.  We trust God's plan, whether it always lines up with ours or not.  I may be lousy at a lot of things, but God's love and mercy and grace are never in question, never lacking, never less than exactly what God wants them to be in my life.  For that, I'm very grateful.

And as long as I'm just rambling anyway, here's a little interesting fact.  The term "redneck" actually has a theological significance.  One I would be proud to embrace.  During the 17th Century in Scotland, those who rebelled against the state church, those who stood for the Doctrines of Grace and the freedom to proclaim God's Word, were called The Covenanters.  Mostly Presbyterian, they were called that because they signed a Covenant stating that they rejected British rule in the Church, and the Church of England rule as well.  

Many of the Covenanters signed in blood, and proudly identified themselves with that Covenant by wearing a red scarf to show that blood oath.  "Red neck" came to be a Scottish term for "dissenter."  Later it came to refer to Presbyterians in general, especially among those who later settled in the southern part of America.  So the association of "redneck" with folks in the South isn't just about rural, huntin' and fishin', truck drivin', and so on.  It's a proud heritage of doctrinal commitment and a "free church".  On that note, I'd be proud to be a redneck, and actually, maybe wouldn't be so lousy at it.  

1 comment:

Gregg Metcalf said...

You just disappoint me, i. e. "Oh, and I really hate country music." But I will let that slide.

I love to fish for bass!

I don't like NASCAR, although I spent the better part of a day with #3 (yes senior)

I went Turkey hunting and never saw a thing, although they laughed at us for most of the day.

Love your post and your point, it is kind of what John Newton once wrote:

“I am not what I might be, I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be. But I thank God I am not what I once was, and I can say with the great apostle, "By the grace of God I am what I am…”