Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion September 14, 2016


I’ve been annoying.  Yes, I admit it - annoying me.  There have been several people who have even said to me, “You are really being annoying”  and I answered them by saying, “Yes, I guess I am.” 
I don’t know if you get points for admitting you are being annoying, but even when you admit that you are being annoying I don’t think that makes you any less annoying.  And I have to admit it didn’t stop me from continuing to be annoying.  I’m not so sure that people didn’t avoid talking to me because they knew that any conversation we would have would involve the topic of my daughter’s appearance on Jeopardy. 
In fact you will probably be annoyed by this Midweek Devotion - in fact you are probably already annoyed by that opening paragraph…..  I think I am even annoying myself.  
But I must go on because when you are passionate about something it begins to invade everything you say; it begins to be the main topic of all of your conversations!  When you are truly passionate about something there is no doubt about the things that dominate your thoughts….
Of course my annoying actions center around my daughter’s appearance on Jeopardy. Anyone who has been around me, even random people in line at grocery stores have heard this story.  So let me tell you what my last several weeks have been like….
Everyone - whether I know them or not - has heard that my daughter was going to be on Jeopardy. From the pulpit, in the bulletin, during meetings, during important conversations and casual ones. There is no individual that I have been in contact with that does not know that I have a daughter on Jeopardy.  How many times have I mentioned it in these devotions that this great event was going to occur (and I can guarantee that coming up there will be a few more devotions related to this subject - so be forewarned…) 
Facebook was particularly the medium through which my annoying passion was exhibited.  Not only did I post a bunch about this significant event, but I shared anyone else's post which included a mention that my daughter was going to be on Jeopardy.....
“Hello, my name is Joanne and my daughter is going to be on Jeopardy.”  Sometimes met with an ‘Wow!  That’s great?” or even occasionally with a “What’s Jeopardy?”  I think I mentioned it so much that it got to the point that people started trying to beat me to the punch and would say to me, “Hello!  When is it your daughter is going to be on Jeopardy?”  I think it was their way of trying to prevent me from droning on about the fact that my daughter was going to be on the TV show!
My enthusiasm of my daughter being on Jeopardy was not so much about her gaining her 15 minutes of fame by being on TV, but that she was going to be able to fulfill a life long dream of hers and the whole family.  Our family has been a Jeopardy family for as long as I can remember.  Whenever we gathered part of the gathering would always include our sitting in front of the TV and playing the game together and of course as we watched there would be lots of speculation about “If I ever get on Jeopardy……”
So a couple years ago when my daughter told us she took the online test none of us were surprised because after all those years of watching Jeopardy and her avid reading  we all knew that if anyone had a shot….
Then she was called by Jeopardy to move on to the next step in being a contestant and when she went through the face to face phase of qualifying for the show and then the years of waiting until she finally had a phone call informing her she was going to be on the show….
And of course I was annoying during this whole process.  “Hello, my name is Joanne and my daughter tried out for Jeopardy…..”  “Hello, my name is Joanne and my daughter passed the on line test for Jeopardy” and “Hello my name is Joanne and my daughter passed the face to face test to be on Jeopardy”.  There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that not only was I proud of my daughter but there was something about Jeopardy that was important to me.  
Sometimes we worry so much about being annoying that we neglect to really let people know how important our God is to us.  We don’t want to risk what people think of us or risk people thinking we are fanatical or we don’t want people to avoid us because we can’t stop talking about the fact that God really is vital to our lives.  
But what should be more critical to our life and more essential to us that our God?  What should be more important to us than our church - our community of faith - our reason to gather tougher with people who are just as passionate as we are about our relationship with our savior?  And if these things are important to us, shouldn’t we talk about it?  After all, if I can over emphasize Jeopardy and my daughter to everyone I meet, shouldn’t God be just as important?  
After all, the things of God are ultimately much more valuable to us than something as trivial as a TV show.  And the things of God are ultimately more valuable to those around us than even my daughters’ activities.  
It is not that we need to be so annoying as to make people avoid us, but we do need let people know what we are passionate about.  Think of it this way - God is so passionate about you that he gave his son for you so that you could forever belong to God so shouldn’t we be so passionate about God that we should at least make sure that people know that  God is important to us - and how will people know that unless we are willing to mention it during conversations and meetings and even casually with people we may not know?
With God, it is OK to be a little annoying - because our relationship with God is worth whatever it takes to let people know what is essential to our life!