You Might Be a Redneck

“You can’t laugh at rednecks unless you are one, and well, I are one.” ~Jeff Foxworthy 

My cousin got married back in 2007. My Dad and brother had flown out a few days before the wedding and my Mom and I were going to join them over the weekend. When my Mom and I flew out we had a layover at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. When we landed we found out that our connecting flight was delayed for two hours, so we went to walk around the concourse for a little while. While we were up, we stopped into one of those airport shops that sell everything from gum to pillows to magazines. My Mom and I went over and both started thumbing through the book section. While she looked though a copy of Marley and Me (which had just come out at the time) I picked up a copy of a very different book. It was Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck Dictionary. 

Maybe I am horrible person for admitting this, but this book was a riot to me. Each page had lists of 4-5 common everyday words along with their “Redneck” definition and usage. For example (these are best when read aloud):

  Afar: (noun). An object in the state of combustion. Usage: “There’s no sense being this cold—let’s build afar. 

  Debate: (noun). Anything used to entice prey. Usage: “Which worm are we gonna use for debate?” 

  Juicy: (Verb). An inquiry as to rather or not another has visually perceived an object. Usage: “Hey Jim, juicy that car crash back there.”

Anyway, to move ahead, I bought a copy of the book and have since become a big fan of Jeff Foxworthy. To me he is a comedian that truly proves the value of not taking life so seriously and being willing to laugh at yourself.

A few months back, Comedy Central was showing reruns of some of Foxworthy’s early routines. In one particular bit he was talking about a situation in which he had a friend who lost his wallet. A few days later he asked his friend “ ‘Did you find your wallet?’ and he replied, ‘yes, it was in the last place I looked.’” Foxworthy goes on to shout, “Well I certainly hope so!”

But don’t we do that a lot. We lose something and when we find it we say, “it was in the last place I looked.” And as Foxworthy says, “we would hope it’s in the last place you look.” Can you imagine asking someone, “Did you find what you were looking for?” and they reply, “Yeah, but I’m still looking for it.”

To me, that seems to be a pretty good parallel for life. Studies have shown that most people are looking for three things in life: Happiness, love, and meaning. Many people spend their whole lives looking for them. They look for them in relationships, friendships, careers, hobbies, etc. Many people think that “If I’m really successful at my job I’ll be happy” or “If I get good grades, my parent will love me” of “If I make a lot of money, my life will be worth something.

I’ve felt myself slipping down this slope. Many nights I’ve stayed up late studying material I’ve already studied a dozen times. I’ve frequently spent afternoons writing, editing, and rewriting, and re-editing papers in an endless quest for perfection. I’ve spent more nights at Boy Scout and club meetings over the last few months than I have with my own family. 

And it’s especially interesting to me to ponder this from a Christian perspective. I mean the Bible promises those three things: Happiness, love, and meaning. We know that God loves us and that nothing we can do will change that. Through Jesus, we’ve found what we were looking for. 

But we’re not always satisfied. We’ve found it, but we’re still looking for it. We’re a bunch of rednecks

In closing, there is a song by the Newsboys that I think carries a similar message. Their song “Beautiful Sound” talks of losing sight of God and then rediscovering him. One line has always jumped out to me. It’s in the second verse when the lead singer says, “To have found you and still be looking for you is the soul’s paradox of love.

Here is a link to the entire song. I hope you enjoy it.

v=2en5nvru5VA">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2en5nvru5VA

 

Dear God, Thank you for all the blessings you give us in our life. For the happiness we have, the love we feel, and the meaning you give us. Help us to always remember that you are the way, the truth, and the life. Watch over each of us this week, keep us all safe and sound, happy and healthy. In your name we pray, Amen!

Zach Herzog

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