Tuesday, November 17, 2009

-ing vs. -ed

Verbs are words of action. Talk, eat, drive.
Verbs have tenses which indicate when the action occurs. I talked to John yesterday. I am eating my lunch now. Tomorrow I will drive to work.
Some verbs end in ing. They are used in a tense called present progressive or present continuous. These words indicate action that is ongoing. It has been occurring, it is occurring, and it will continue to occur (for at least a while).
Other verbs end in ed. This is the past tense. Action that has occurred. It is done.
As you can see, there is quite a difference between these two tenses. One indicates life, advancement, progress. The other indicates completion, rest, consummation, maybe even perfection.
One says: “I'm not there yet, I am still learning.” The other says: “That's all there is. I have attained.”
One says: “There is still more to figure out, more to investigate, more discussion is necessary.” The other says: “Ahhh, now I've got it. I know the answer. Listen and become wise.”
One can be teachable, open to new ideas, ready to change and adjust. The other can be arrogant, headstrong, unhearing.
One has room for adaptation, new knowledge, further study. The other is satisfied, immovable, rigid.
I have a feeling you are already getting my point.
Is our faith, our theology, our expression of Christ's kingdom a journey or a fait accompli?
Is our understanding of truth something that has room for further understanding, or already set in concrete?
I find the arrogance of 'I'm right and that's all there is to it' a very poor representation of God's kingdom. Yes, I expect that He knows everything, but we don't.
And won't.


Luke said...

i'm an -ing! i'm faithing all over the place... okay.. that could sound wrong when used in another context... good thoughts there Al!

Al said...

One of my earlier thoughts on the subject (which I kinda forgot in rethinking it) was: Are we emerging and reforming (present continuous) or emerged and reformed (thinking it is already completed, nothing more to be added).
I hope it is not the second. In some cases it might be, but for the most part, I think we continue to move forward, in hope.
I'm glad you're faithing!


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