Counterproposal

Counterproposal: (n) a proposal offered to offset a preceding one.

I would never want to return to the sheer horror, ambiguity, dance of confusion and frustration that was involved in being seventeen years old.

Yet I do fondly remember the wrangling that went on in a car on a Saturday night with a girlfriend you had been with for at least three months.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

The first three months of dating consisted solely of terrorizing one another with the awkwardness of conversation and trying to discover where you fit in with her and she could find common ground with your less-than-diverse tastes.

But after three months—and some sort of little ring, chain or token being offered to confirm that you were committing to one another—then the entire project shifted from “getting to know you” to “getting to know all about you.”

On that Saturday night, after the movie was over, the hamburger was consumed, the French fries were shared (because she was on a diet) and the milk shake melted enough to be sipped to its bottom, it was time for the two of you to nervously head out to an isolated park, backroad or private location, where you could begin the negotiations.

She, being a good, small-town girl, who knew the next morning would have to sit down with her friends in church with a picture of Jesus staring down at her, had already taken inventory and considered what was available for the taking.

On the other hand, you felt it was time to expand the project—open up new horizons and generate some excitement.

So you would make a proposal and she would counter your idea with a suggestion of her own, which was rarely sufficient to your teenage, ravenous lust.

Of course, adding to the craziness was a budding horniness, leaving you (and I believe, her) dizzy from trying to resist. After an hour-and-a-half of proposal and counterproposal, procedures were agreed upon—and pursued in such a vigorous way that the whole deal accelerated so quickly that it was nearly blown.

This process, which we shall call “The Saturday Night Feverless” only worked for a few weeks. For the curiosity to find out what sex was really like was overwhelming. Or maybe it was just a need to discover once and for all if “us” were really going to be any good at it, or become permanent outcasts from the world of pleasure,

Counterproposals are a part of life, but rarely do they give the satisfaction of the original ingenious idea.


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Codicil

Codicil: (n) an addition or supplement that explains, modifies, or revokes a will or part of one.

It was probably a Saturday morning, and the young fellow was perched in his tiny office in the back of the sanctuary, wondering what in the hell he was gonna talk about the following morning during his sermon at the church.

Although he wanted to be a minister, he forgot how terrifying it could be, to try to come up with a twenty-one minute homily once a week which would both appease and inspire. (Unfortunately, those two words–“appease” and “inspire”–often tend to contradict each other.)

So imagine his glee when he came up with the thought that God’s love–which he had taught about many times–was unconditional.

How good that was going to make everybody feel! The classic warm-and-fuzzy and oh-so-cuddly. He certainly had enough Bible verses to back up his contention.

So when he shared it the following morning it became so popular that it spread across the town, the Internet and eventually became a phrase that evoked tears and deep-rooted reflection from everyone who uttered it: unconditional love.

Unfortunately, the young minister who began this tumbling dice of good feeling failed to remind his congregation that there are codicils.

If love is the will of God, then we must sit down like good attorneys and read over the “will” a bit more carefully to understand how it is executed.

Just as grace demands that we be gracious and mercy is obtained by being merciful, God’s love is possessed by expressing affection and concern for those we deem to be “the least.”

If we fail to do this–in other words, be gracious–He resists our pride.

No mercy? Well–no mercy.

And if our love is not extended to those whom we psychologically view as untouchable, then God is completely willing to view us as equally uninteresting.

If I were to sum up the Bible in one word, it would be “if:”

  • If you want love, give love.
  • If you want mercy, share mercy.
  • If you want grace, be gracious.
  • And if you want understanding, try to understand something that you pretend is completely unacceptable.

 

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